Category Archives: press release

Focusing on Sustainability, Companies to Collect More Data from Suppliers

Executives See Path to Significant Sustainability Gains

New York City (July 24, 2012) – Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released a new study of corporate environmental sustainability practices and trends.  The study finds efforts to improve sustainability in corporate supply chains are hindered by poor data quality and a lack of measurement standards. In a survey of 30 senior sustainability and procurement executives at major companies globally, 62 percent of executives said their efforts to track supply chain sustainability performance are impaired by a lack of measurement standards. For suppliers already beleaguered by numerous information requests, things will get worse before they get better: 81 percent of companies plan to ask suppliers for more information in the coming year.

Executives Believe Gains Are Possible without Compromising Business Goals

Despite the challenges, executives are optimistic about the prospects for significantly improving sustainability in their supply chains. “Companies often lack direct control over their suppliers and sub-suppliers,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst and founder of Green Research.  “But new tools and management practices are empowering companies to drive improvements in supply chain sustainability.” Sixty-four percent of executives surveyed said their companies can have significant influence on their top suppliers’ sustainability performance.  Eighty-four percent believe their companies can obtain much better environmental performance from suppliers without compromising their companies’ business goals.

New Management Practices Profiled

Supply chain sustainability improvements will be made possible in part by the adoption of new green technologies throughout the supply chain but also by new management practices, Green Research found. The company conducted a series of exclusive executive interviews coupled with an analysis of public company disclosures to identify 10 supply chain sustainability best practices. These include setting specific goals; educating and supporting suppliers; and leveraging emerging standards to collect and analyze sustainability data from the supply chain.

Report Offers Vendor Assessment Guidance

The study also finds that a wide range of technology vendors and service providers have entered the market with solutions for helping companies collect, track and manage supply chain sustainability performance data. The study presents profiles of a dozen such vendors representing a range of approaches for addressing supply chain sustainability issues, along with a Vendor Assessment Framework companies can use to help them select an appropriate vendor. Nearly 40 percent of executives surveyed in the study said their companies were somewhat likely or very likely to acquire a new IT system to help with supplier sustainability information over the next 12 months.

The supply chain sustainability study is available for purchase online at greenresearch.com.

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A Portrait of Sustainability Consulting in the Asia-Pacific Region

A Regional Difference in Industry and Technical Focus Among Consultants

New York City (April 20, 2012) – Green Research, the New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released an analysis of the sustainability consulting industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The analysis indicates that compared to sustainability consultants globally, consultants working in the Asia-Pacific region are more active in the construction, waste management and utility industries than their counterparts globally.

“Manufacturing is the sector that keeps sustainability consultants busiest around the world,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst at Green Research and author of the report. “But we see do see some regional differences in focus.”

Forty-three percent of sustainability consultants in the Asia-Pacific region have recently worked in the construction industry, compared to 33 percent globally. In utilities and waste management industries the figures are 33 and 31 percent compared to 23 and 21 percent among consultants globally.

The analysis, based on a proprietary global survey of sustainability consultants that drew 1,548 responses from six continents and 69 countries, focuses on responses from 108 consultants working in the Asia-Pacific region. Partners including Eco-Business.com and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals assisted in promoting the survey to respondents in this region.

This new analysis reveals that sustainability consultants in the Asia-Pacific region have much in common with their counterparts globally. Educational and professional backgrounds are similar, for instance, and the data shows that consultants around the world are generally optimistic about their business prospects despite a common top challenge: most consultants say prospective clients often lack adequate budgets.

The report reveals some differences apart from the types of industries hiring consultants. A significantly greater percentage of Asia-Pacific consultants are involved in technical projects such as carbon accounting and life cycle assessment compared to their counterparts globally.

The research is now available for free download at greenresearch.com. For more information, please contact David Schatsky at +1 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

Contact: David Schatsky | info@greenresearch.com |+1 646-783-8337

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In Medical Equipment Industry, Waste Management is Focus of Sustainability Goals and New Revenue Opportunities

Waste Goals Outnumber Greenhouse Gas Goals; Supply Chain Gets Little Attention

New York City (April 4, 2012) – Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released its latest benchmark of corporate environmental sustainability goals, this one analyzing the medical equipment and supplies industry, a large and profitable industry where the top 10 companies generate over $100 billion in revenue annually. The study found that sustainability in this industry focuses to an exceptional degree on waste management. While only a minority of firms in the industry set public, quantitative sustainability goals, more of those goals are focused on waste management than on any other objective, more even than reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which tops the list in most other industries. “Reducing waste and diverting waste from landfills is a key imperative in this industry,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst and founder of Green Research. “It has even emerged as a new revenue opportunity.” The report highlights two companies, Stryker and BD, that have created businesses that reclaim, reprocess, recycle or remanufacture used medical products, helping hospitals reduce their own waste burden and creating a new revenue stream in the process. But companies are still missing significant opportunities.

The study found that just four of the 10 largest manufacturers of medical equipment and supplies have announced any public environmental sustainability goals at all. It also found that while these companies’ sustainability, citizenship or social responsibility programs are generally concerned not only with environmental issues but also social, ethical and other issues as well, when it comes to setting and disclosing specific, time-bound, quantitative goals, they tend to limit themselves to environmental goals. In the environmental dimension as well as the social dimensions, companies in this industry could go further in setting and declaring specific goals for themselves. The companies covered in the study are Baxter International, BD, Boston Scientific, Covidien, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, St. Jude Medical, Stryker, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Zimmer Holdings.

Among the other findings:  As in many industries, significant environmental impacts in this industry occur outside a company’s four walls, in its supply chain or in customer use or product end of life. Eight-seven percent of the sustainability goals companies have set, however, are focused on internal operations. Setting supply chain sustainability goals is a missed opportunity in this industry. Green Research also benchmarked how the medical equipment makers present information about their sustainability programs on their corporate websites, focusing on six communication elements including the use of the corporate website homepage, sustainability contact information and reporting of key data.  Of the measures tracked, Baxter and Medtronic provided the most comprehensive information. Baxter provided all six elements, while Medtronic provided all but one: it did not engage a third-party assurance provider.

The medical equipment and supplies sustainability goals benchmarking research is available online at greenresearch.com. To learn more about the research, please visit greenresearch.com or contact David Schatsky at 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

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Optimistic About Business Prospects, the Ranks of Sustainability Consultants Swell

As Market Matures, Industry and Functional Specialization to Become More Important

New York City (March 13, 2012) – Green Research, the New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released a new report featuring the results of the world’s first global study of consultants working in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The study was conducted via an online survey fielded with the support of media partners globally. The survey drew 1548 responses from six continents and 69 countries. The report, “Global Sustainability Consultant Survey, 2012,” finds sustainability consultants optimistic about their business prospects. Forty-nine percent of consultants surveyed say business conditions are somewhat or very strong today and 62 percent expect a strong business environment six months from now. “Sustainability consultants are generally upbeat about business conditions,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst at Green Research and author of the report. “Consultants working in Asia-Pacific countries are the most upbeat of all. But challenges loom as well.”

The study found that many professionals have been drawn to the sustainability consulting field in recent years. The data reveal that 40 percent of the consultants entered the field less than three years ago. According to the report, a combination of factors has contributed to the influx of professionals to the field. These include the dislocations caused by the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing recessions, which prompted some professionals to become independent consultants, and growing awareness of sustainability challenges and interest in helping to solve them.  Of course, the field has well established firms and highly experienced consultants as well. Forty percent of sustainability consultants have been working in the field for at least 5 years; about half of those claim 10 years’ experience.

The report suggests that the influx of new consultants may be putting downward pressure on consulting incomes. Among US-based consultants, the median annual income is $70,000. Three-quarters of consultants earn $97,500 or less annually but incomes as high as $310,000 were reported. In the US the incomes of sustainability consultants are comparable to the salaries reported in 2010 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for management or operations research analysts.

The report also examined the industries, business areas, and technical areas consultants were most active in over the prior year. More consultants worked in manufacturing than any other sector. Strategy and planning projects were more common than projects focusing on specific business or operational areas such as supply chain or facilities. Green Research believes that as the field matures, consultants will need to couple strategy expertise with expert industry and functional knowledge.

The research is now available for download at greenresearch.com. For more information, please contact David Schatsky at +1 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

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Green Research Launches First-Ever Global Study of Sustainability Consulting

Promotion Support from Partners Worldwide

New York City (February 15, 2012) – Green Research, the New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today launched the world’s first global study to profile consultants working in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The study utilizes an online survey distributed in conjunction with media partners globally and will examine the business practices, focus areas, and attitudes of independent consultants as well as consultants who work for larger firms. “There are a handful of well-known large firms with global footprints such as PwC, KPMG, Accenture and McKinsey,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst and founder at Green Research. “But there are thousands of smaller consultancies and sole practitioners that are lesser known that will drive sustainability among middle-tier companies over the coming years.”

The Green Research global sustainability consulting study is intended to support the market for sustainability consulting and help drive progress in sustainability globally. The survey asks about the backgrounds of the consultants; the demographics of their firms (for example, the age of the firms, number of employees and geographic distribution); the areas of greatest demand for consulting services; fees and revenues; partnership patterns; and the outlook for the consulting business in the coming year. “Both consulting firms and the companies that hire them will find the results of the study valuable,” said Schatsky.

Media companies and other partners globally are promoting the survey in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. The International Society of Sustainability Professionals, the world’s leading professional association of sustainability practitioners, is promoting the survey to its members as well.

The results of the survey will be published in April of this year. The survey can be taken in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese and takes about 10 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous.

Consultants are invited to begin taking the survey today here. [Survey is now closed.]

To learn more about this ongoing research, contact David Schatsky at +1 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

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Corporate Sustainability Leaders to Focus on Employee Engagement and Supply Chain in 2012

Study Identifies the Only Two Sustainability Ranking Schemes Relevant to a Majority of Companies

New York City (November 30, 2011) – Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released a new report based on its annual survey of sustainability executives. The report, a planning and benchmarking tool for sustainability executives, finds that companies will focus significant staff time and financial resources on two sustainability initiatives above all in the coming year: employee engagement and supplier sustainability performance. Believing engaged employees to be a key to high performance, 88 percent of companies will be investing significantly in employee engagement in 2012, while 73 percent will focus on improving the sustainability performance of their suppliers. “Companies have good reason to focus on employee engagement and supply chain,” said David Schatsky, author of the report. “Engaged employees make things happen. And the supply chain is where the bulk of the environmental impact is for many companies.”

The study analyzes the staffing and spending plans and high-priority initiatives of top sustainability executives at some of the world’s leading companies. It draws on an exclusive, in-depth survey of nearly 50 senior sustainability executives (three quarters of which are the senior-most sustainability executive/chief sustainability officer) at global companies. These are leading companies in a dozen industries across North America and Europe, 80 percent of which have revenues of $1B or more. “We think this is the highest-quality panel of respondents ever assembled for a survey focused on corporate sustainability tactics and strategies,” said Schatsky.

The report finds that sustainability spending will rise significantly in 2012. About a third of companies surveyed are adding staff to their sustainability departments in the coming year. And fifty percent of firms will increase spending on sustainability initiatives across their companies, compared to a quarter that will increase the budgets of their sustainability departments.  “Companies are funding various departments to support their sustainability initiatives, rather than centralizing those funds with sustainability teams,” said Schatsky. “The crucial role of sustainability teams, besides coordinating sustainability strategy, is to help other departments make the business case for those initiatives,” he added.

Other topics covered in the research include: carbon accounting, ecolabels, life cycle assessment, corporate reputation, sustainability reporting, environmental credits and offsets, and sustainability rankings. The report found that despite a proliferation of corporate sustainability rankings, only two rankings are relevant to a majority of companies: the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Sixty-four percent of respondents consider CDP important to the company and its stakeholders; 53 percent say the same about the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. All other rankings are important to a small minority of companies and their stakeholders.

The study, “Annual Sustainability Executive Survey, 2012” is available online at greenresearch.com. To learn more about the research, please visit greenresearch.com or contact David Schatsky at 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

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Sustainability Leaders Say Tracking and Reporting Systems Fall Short

Over Next 12 Months, a Majority Will Invest in Systems Upgrades

New York City (October 17, 2011) – Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released a study of the market for sustainability performance management systems—IT systems that help companies monitor, track and analyze environmental and sustainability data. These systems are crucial tools for large and medium companies that want to bring professional management standards to their sustainability programs. The study found that while sustainability executives at leading companies are broadly satisfied with the accuracy and completeness of the data in their current systems, those systems fall short in other ways. “Many sustainability leaders say it is too hard to get the data they need,” said David Schatsky, principal analyst and founder of Green Research. “Companies need better integrated tools and more analytical firepower to help drive decisions.”

Drawing on a proprietary survey of 32 senior sustainability executives at major companies in North America and Europe, the study found that nearly 40 percent say their systems are poorly integrated and it remains too difficult to get the data required. A majority of respondents say their companies have slated funds for system upgrades in the coming year; a third of companies surveyed plan to spend over $50,000 to upgrade their sustainability information systems in the coming year.

The study also finds that dissatisfaction by sustainability leaders with current systems, coupled with spending plans, equals opportunity for vendors in this crowded market, including companies such as CSRware, Carbon Guerrilla, Carbon Systems, Cloud Apps, e3 Solutions, Enablon, Enviance, ENXSuite, FirstCarbon Solutions, Hara, Locus Technologies, ProcessMAP and Verisae, to name a few. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors such as SAP and Oracle, and consultants and systems integrators such as Accenture and Deloitte are also positioned to tap this opportunity. The study also reveals which departmental budgets control the funds for the planned systems upgrades.

The study, “Sustainability Performance Management Systems,” is available online at greenresearch.com. To learn more about the research, please visit greenresearch.com or contact David Schatsky at 646-783-8337 or info@greenresearch.com.

Contact:
David Schatsky
info@greenresearch.com
646-783-8337
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