Something fundamental is about to change in the way we view business. For decades, if not centuries, generating profits was widely seen as a company’s primary role.
Profitability, productivity and efficiency have been at the center of how companies are managed every single day.
But changing attitudes and new knowledge have recently overturned this perception.
More and more companies, from small startups to large international corporations, now pay greater attention to the role of sustainability in their business model.
What is driving this change? Reliable research confirms that good sustainability and ESG – environmental, social and governance – practices within a business correlate with lower operating costs, better profitability and superior share price performance.
The JUST 100 – the 100 most responsible companies ranked according to the principles of JUST Capital – returned 7.5% in the first 50 weeks of 2018, more than double the 3.6% returned by the S&P 500. This gap in performance has not gone unnoticed by investors.
A recent study from Oxford University also found that more than 80% of mainstream investors now consider ESG information when making investment decisions.
But wider society’s attitude is also changing. In a recent survey by Deloitte, millennial workers were asked what the primary purpose of business should be. “Improving society” beat “generating profit” by a margin of 63 percentage points.
Around the world, more and more people say they have lost faith in the ability of governments to act on the world’s most challenging issues, from climate change to fair wages and hiring practices to technology-driven employment disruptions.
In the face of this leadership vacuum, 76% of those surveyed for the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer said that they want CEOs to lead change rather than waiting for government to impose it. Those companies that step up and fill this void have the opportunity to reap great rewards.
There is thus a rationale in transforming a traditional business model into a more sustainable one.
Dassault Systèmes was ranked first by Corporate Knights in the 2018 Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World (Global 100) index, which is recognized as the gold standard for corporate sustainability analysis.
The ranking relies on the computation of many key performance indicators, including environmental, social, financial and innovation capacity but also on the sustainability value of a company’s products.
At Dassault Systèmes, we build sustainability on three pillars:
- Sustainability of products: to deliver them without taking too much from natural resources.
- Sustainability of teams: to capture current knowledge and know-how and prepare workforces for the future.
- Sustainability of business: to remain competitive and profitable to be able to reinvest the profit in R&D and innovation.
As part of our endeavour to help companies in better understanding the concept and impact of business sustainability, we invite you to join us for a day of critical insight in a truly interactive and stimulating forum, in association with the Financial Times, as we address the questions:
What is the meaning of business sustainability?
Which factors undermine longevity and inhibit sustainable growth?
What qualities characterise enduring companies and enable them to survive and thrive?
How are business models and cultures evolving to build agility and sustain organisations?
Among the key speakers, we are happy to welcome:
Jonas Samuelson, President and CEO – Electrolux
Michael Thel, Engineering Director – Scania
Pia Sandvik, Chief Executive Officer – RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
Dr Martin Edlund, Chief Executive Officer – Minesto
Charles Brand, VP Europe and Central Asia – Tetra Pak
Participants will be able to share their experiences and to better understand what is driving business sustainability, and the opportunities and challenges they will face for their industry, their sector and their own organization.
Insights from Dassault Systèmes will enable you to take this strategy and make it reality.
The event will be held on March 10, 2020, at Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm, Sweden.