Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Impact of the Sustainability Agenda on Mid-Sized Companies

The concern about sustainability issues is reaching down to mid-sized companies, according to some recent research by IBM.

IBM's global CEO study, which had 1,130 responses from 40 countries, showed that these companies see significant changes in market factors, skills requirements and regulatory compliance in the coming years. The problem is that whilst 86% anticipate substantial change, only 57% have had success in managing that change in the past.

In order to address the changes the companies are investing in their businesses to face the challenges. The most frequently cited areas for investment are growth through globalisation, customer service for increasingly informed and demanding customers and increased social responsibility activities.

On the CSR front, the view was that customer expectations around CSR are increasing and it will play an important role in differentiating suppliers in the future. Corporate reputation is seen as very important among informed customers who often make decisions based on corporate policies and records.

These mid-sized companies plan to increase investment in CSR by 34% over the next three years. Based on the prior success rate they quoted they are going to need some help. The question is, how are IT services companies going to get this business? This is a market where alliances and partnerships, particularly with the small, specialist environmental consultancies, will be vital.

© The Green IT Review

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