Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability

Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability

Although many U.S. companies are taking steps to address urgent environmental and social issues, progress on those issues is uneven, a report from Ceres finds. The report, Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (127 pages, PDF), analyzed data from more than six hundred of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. and found that without concrete targets, commitments to address climate change are falling short. For example, while 64 percent of the companies in the study have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, only 36 percent have established time-bound targets; similarly, while 32 percent of the companies have pledged to increase their sourcing of renewable energy, only 10 percent have set time-bound targets. The report also found that while more companies are committed to water stewardship than was the case in 2014, few companies prioritize sources most at risk; that while there is more of a focus on building sustainable supply chains, only 34 percent of the companies looking to do so are providing their suppliers with training, capacity-building assistance, or incentives; and that while commitments to human rights are up, systems to protect workers remain scarce and inadequate. According to the report, accountability at the top leads to more ambitious commitments, but while 65 percent of the companies in the survey said they held senior executives accountable for sustainability performance, only 8 percent linked it to compensation. The study also found that while employee engagement can unlock innovation and improve staff retention, only 38 percent of the companies in the survey provide any kind of sustainability training and only 9 percent provide training for all staff.

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