Sustainability is about more than going green. When it comes to business strategy, it also includes social and corporate governance, according to a definition from Brandlogic and CRD Analytics. The consulting firm and investment analytics firm, respectively, recently released a survey about the real and perceived sustainability efforts of the top 100 companies around the world.
The goal of the Sustainability Leadership Report: Measuring Perception vs. Reality is to let the world know which corporations are doing what they say they’re doing in this area as well as to inform consumers about which companies have yet to join in the sustainability game. More important, Brandlogic and CRD hope that the identified gaps between real and perceived sustainability efforts will help improve individual corporate performance.
The good news is that the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, one of nine sectors included in the survey, is leading the way in corporate sustainability. Other sectors included: consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, industrials and transportation, information technology, materials and mining, and telecommunications and Internet. The study authors used the data from survey participants to establish a sustainability IQ matrix which groups companies into one of four areas: laggards (low perception, low reality), promoters (high perception, low reality), challengers (low perception, high reality), and leaders (high perception, high reality). Groups are based on real and perceived scores, both of which incorporate key performance indicators such as the corporation’s emissions, diversity, and vision.
Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, all ranked in the “leader” category. Roche fell into the “challenger” category; BASF, fell into the “promoter” category; and no one from pharma ended up in the “laggard” field. Interestingly, corporations such as Amazon and McDonald’s did.
The industry’s activity in environmental, social, and governance comes as no surprise. The most nascent goal of the drug-manufacturing world is to improve health, and ultimately, to improve lives. A person’s environment, be it safety, education, or healthcare access, for example, affect this goal in many ways—and these are all part of social, environmental, and governance sustainability.