Consulting firms have been slow to include the role of information systems in their surveys of the environmental sustainability practices and performance of global corporations.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see the section on “social media and digital technologies” in the recently released Accenture study “Long‐Term Growth, Short‐Term Differentiation and Profits from Sustainable Products and Services – A global survey of business executives“.
Here’s the bit about Sustainability 2.0:
As companies strive to understand their customers better and gain a competitive advantage in the realm of developing and delivering sustainable products and solutions, the use of social media and technology will be important. According to figure 15, well over half of respondents say that their companies are using these technologies to engage with consumers about their portfolio of sustainable products and services.
In a separate question, data reveals that 72 percent of respondents say social media will have a positive impact on sustainability by giving consumers more influence, with 86 percent of companies in emerging markets agreeing with this statement.
Social media is also likely to have an effect on energy optimization in supply chains, employee engagement, and innovativeness, as I’ve discussed here.
Back to Accenture, is this a blip or a trend, or a blip on a trend? Time will tell.