Canadian Manufacturing

Canada a global leader in profiting from sustainability: report

50 per cent of CEOs say sustainability-related initiatives have added to profits



TORONTO—Canada may be outperforming a number of its global peers when it comes to profiting from sustainability, but it seems the nation’s top CEOs aren’t quite ready to go all-in for the cause.

According to a new report from OfficeMax Grand&Toy, 50 per cent of Canadian enterprise organization heads said their sustainability-related initiatives have added to profits, compared to 31 per cent globally.

The report, Driving Sustainability in Canada and the Role of Supply Chain & Procurement, also found 76 per cent of Canadian decision-makers said sustainability is necessary for competitiveness, and another 87 per cent said their organizations had placed sustainability on their respective agendas permanently.

That compares to global averages of 67 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

“Canadian enterprise organizations are showing a strong commitment to sustainability initiatives,” OfficeMax Grand&Toy general manager of marketing Jeff Hayward said in a statement.

“They are using fully-developed operational capabilities to drive profit from these actions.”

But when it comes to the top organizations, or harvesters, Canada starts to fall behind.

Chief executives from harvesters—firms profiting from sustainability-related actions and decisions—are far more likely to commit strongly to sustainability (85 per cent compared to 61 per cent in Canada), according to the report.

“What we’re seeing in Canada is a sustainability approach that emphasizes business efficiencies or cost reductions,” senior researcher and report co-author Warren Shiau said.

“The advantage to this is that enterprise Canadian organizations are among the global leaders in driving profitability from sustainability,” Shiau continued. “In the long term however, these organizations may face challenges as they try to extend sustainability adoption into other areas of the business where positive impact is harder to measure.”

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