Last week, our firm president Robert Kuhn spoke to staff and students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
Kuhn outlined four important trends that are emerging in corporate sustainability, which he has identified through his consulting work with clients, collaborators and broad industry network:
- an increasing focus on “materiality”, stemming in part from a desire to winnow down the vast amount of work that can be done in sustainability to something more manageable
- significant work happening in sustainable procurement, spearheaded by standards-setting bodies and the U.S. federal government, all of which are seeking ways to guide purchasing decisions toward environmentally- and socially-responsible solutions
- the prominent role data has gained in measuring and reporting sustainability-related efforts and achievements, and
- slow-but-steady progress towards aligning environmental, social and financial corporate attributes in management, reporting and analytical contexts, which if achieved broadly could lead to transformational achievements in sustainability.