Sustainability Leaders 2024

About the GlobeScan / ERM Sustainability Institute Leaders 2024 Survey

Findings from our Sustainability Leaders 2024 report show that new legislation like the SEC climate disclosure rules and EU Green Deal are seen as the most significant developments in the past 12 months.

One-third of experts point to legislative action as the top sustainability breakthrough, while new sustainability disclosure standards are cited by one-fifth. Action around climate and nature, as well as renewables and low-carbon initiatives are considered to be the most significant developments by 13 percent and 9 percent of sustainability experts, respectively.

Despite these positive developments, over half of the surveyed experts report a significant backlash against sustainability, with over eight in ten in North America seeing this trend. Globally, 52 percent of experts believe this backlash will slow the transition to sustainability in the coming years.

Assessing the business landscape, more than one-third of experts name Patagonia as a corporate sustainability leader while one-quarter of experts name Unilever. World Wide Fund for Nature continues to be the most recognized NGO, cited as a leader on sustainable development by 40 percent of respondents.

Expanding sustainability-related legislation and standards is clearly viewed as a critical development according to the hundreds of expert stakeholders we surveyed across the world. 

To stay at the forefront, leading organizations must transform compliance into concrete actions that drive meaningful impact. The evolving sustainability landscape requires a collaborative, innovative approach from governments, NGOs, and corporations.

Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan

Summary of Key Findings:

  • Experts continue to rate climate change as the most urgent sustainability challenge.
  • Legislation promoting sustainability is viewed as the most important positive development in the past year.
  • More than half of experts say there is a significant backlash against the sustainability agenda.
  • Sweden is recognized by experts as the leading government when it comes to advancing sustainable development.
  • World Wide Fund for Nature continues to be the most recognized NGO leading on sustainable development.
  • Patagonia is cited by one-third of experts as a corporate sustainability leader.
  • The forest products and life sciences sectors are viewed most positively by experts on sustainability.

The GlobeScan / ERM Sustainability Institute Leaders Survey captures the perspectives of hundreds of sustainability experts worldwide on the priorities and forces shaping the sustainable development agenda. The survey explores sustainability leadership across governments, NGOs, and companies, tracking priority issues as well as the most important recent developments.