Are companies truly striving to be sustainable?

"Cooperate or perish" - are companies truly striving to be sustainable?

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Companies’ sustainability efforts are progressing according to EcoVadis’ latest Sustainability Performance Index report. 

More countries and organisations are rethinking how to approach social and environmental issues. 

Despite the findings, the return of this year’s COP27 summit shows the hard work is yet to come. The UN Secretary-General addressed over 100 world leaders, telling them humanity has the choice to ‘cooperate or perish’

Based on 83,000 ratings from 53,000 companies across 160 countries between 2017 and 2021, EcoVadis highlights the state of sustainability performance within its network. Turbulence remains, mainly due to the ripple effects of the pandemic and ongoing war in Ukraine, yet companies are continuing to build sustainable and equitable supply chains. 

What does the Index reveal? 

EcoVadis scores companies’ performance from insufficient to outstanding. 

The findings are mainly positive. More than 65% of companies advanced their sustainability journey, achieving scores of 45+. Additionally, this revealed a 30% decrease in those scoring ‘partial’ or ‘insufficient’, indicating a reduction in supply chain sustainability risk globally. 

Sustainable procurement is ‘bouncing back’ after declining between 2017 and 2020 

Further results show that companies have improved their sustainability management practices over the past 5 years, with Europe leading the way with a score of 53.8. Whilst Africa, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific regions fall behind with scores in the low 40s, this raises the question of other factors that may be out of their control – maybe because they aren’t as wealthy as Western regions, thus need to source from less-developed ones which are often cheaper and in more concentrated areas of production. 

Are companies’ sustainability efforts working? 

Partially. The Index shows improved sustainability ratings across the board, with financial, legal and consulting leading the way. 

The results speak for themselves. Between 2020 and 2021, performance and sustainability improved throughout environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. However, only time will continue to tell if they are consistently improving, along with global statistics on how company and human action is having an impact.  

Let’s hope this continues and organisations endeavour to cooperate further and accelerate their sustainability efforts. 

Read the full Sustainability Ratings index here. 

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