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25 Jan 2023

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Sustainability to Drive Better Business Results, a New IBM IBV Report States

More than 80% of CEOs say sustainability investments will drive better business results over the next five years, according to a new report from the IBM Institute of Business Value.

The report surveyed a group of CEOs at a diverse group of companies to get their opinions on the topic. Questions to the CEOs covered topics from employee incentive programs and renewable energy sources to transparent sustainability targets.

One respondent, Guy Cormier, Board Chair, President and CEO of Canada's financial-services company Desjardin Group, said, “I dream of the day when we will put as much attention and importance on the quarterly ESG criteria and the quarterly environmental results as we do for earnings and GDP.”

“From 2017 to 2020, we developed our first plan for a stronger impact on sustainability and climate change,” he said. We looked at reducing our carbon footprint with our own activities. In our 2021 to 2024 plan, we want to influence people.

“Along with our own activities, we will progressively integrate the carbon footprint of all our clients and members—to try and reduce the carbon footprint of the whole package Desjardins has to offer. For example, we selected 100 of our top suppliers and started an engagement campaign to work with each of them to reduce our supply chain carbon footprint based on clear metrics.

“Second, we integrated ESG criteria in every aspect of our business, including financing projects for big businesses. (We also) introduced a change to our bonus programs this year for the 58,000 employees and the management committee. They now have a percentage of their bonus that is totally connected to ESG criteria, which will provide a strong financial incentive for everyone at Desjardins to contribute to our sustainability objectives.”

The report is now available from IBM.

Photograph from IBM Institute of Business Value.

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