Across all economic sectors and geographic areas, companies face increasing pressure to adopt more socially sustainable practices. This pressure is coming from multiple sources and directions, including investors, regulators, activists, news media, social media, and the general public.
This report provides an overview of social sustainability, one of the most important themes for companies across all industries.
It includes a comprehensive sustainability framework, covering environment, social and governence factors, to help CEOs identify all potential sustainability risks and implement mitigating actions that can improve their company’s ESG performance.
It sets out the reasons why companies must invest in social sustainability, analyzes why 2019 was a turning point in social sustainability, and looks at how the twin shocks of 2020 (COVID-19 and the social justice movement) have forced an unexpected reckoning.
Taking each aspect of social sustainability in turn, this report provides examples of companies that are leading by example, and companies that have room to improve. It also assesses the impact of social sustainability on share price performance.
For decades, many businesses were guided by the theory advanced in 1970 by free-market economist Milton Friedman, who said companies should be managed solely to maximize shareholder value.
The last decade has seen a sea change in attitudes about business management. In 2019, the influential Business Roundtable adopted a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, signed by 181 CEOs in the US. The statement said corporate leaders have a duty to manage their companies for the benefit of customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment, as well as shareholders. In other words, leaders have a responsibility to manage their companies sustainably.
Reasons to buy
In 2020, sustainability will be one of the most important themes discussed in corporate boardrooms worldwide. Over the coming decade, it will transform the way that business is conducted. Customers, voters, and politicians will demand greater action is taken on environmental, social, and governance issues. Companies that take sustainability seriously now will be better placed to succeed in the future.
This report will help you understand what social sustainability is, why it is important, and what your business can do to become more socially sustainable.
Bank of America
Table of Contents
GlobalData's ESG Framework
Why companies must invest in social sustainability
The four main factors within social sustainability
Appendix: Our thematic research methodology