For the second straight year, the “BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Poll 2011” results show that more than eight in 10 respondents (84 percent) are optimistic that global businesses will embrace CSR/sustainability as part of their core strategies and operations in the next five years. Released at the BSR Conference 2011, the poll resulted from a survey of nearly 500 business leaders drawn from BSR’s global network of nearly 300 member companies.

Main Leadership Challenge: Integrating Sustainability Into Core Business Functions
The BSR/Globescan survey also revealed that almost two thirds of respondents (62 percent) identified the integration of sustainability into core business operations as the most important leadership challenge over the next year. Other challenges include convincing investors that sustainability enhances value (30 percent), and planning for the long term (30 percent).

Top Sustainability Priorities in Year Ahead: Human/Workers’ Rights, Climate Change, and Water
The business leaders surveyed cite human rights, climate change, workers’ rights, and water issues (in that order) as the top priorities for their companies’ CSR/sustainability efforts in the year ahead.

Drivers of Public Trust, Business Leadership, and Ongoing Success
Respondents continue to acknowledge that the public does not have a high level of trust in business and identified three important actions companies should take to address this gap: “increasing the transparency of business practices” (55 percent); “measuring and demonstrating positive social and environmental impacts” (51 percent); and “creating innovative products and business models designed for sustainability” (42 percent, up significantly from 34 percent last year).
 
How is your company integrating sustainability into the core functions of your business? What's working? What's not?