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Key Themes Emanuele Cacciatore – Senior Manager, Accenture


Integrating Sustainability into Business As Usual


82% (27) of Italian companies responding to the CDP 2011 information request reported that they have integrated climate change into core business strategy


Right in the middle of an economic recession, with the European economy struggling to solve the sovereign debt crisis, pressure on organizations to drive corporate action on sustainability issues has not weakened at all. Policy makers, institutional investors and customers are scrutinizing firms’ corporate behavior more carefully than ever, demanding greater accountability and performance from business in providing positive contributions to the economy, society and the environment. Corporations that wish to future proof their business must establish capacity to report coherently to stakeholders on the implications of sustainability for their economic and financial performance. The integration of sustainability into corporate strategy is now a key issue on many CEOs’ agenda.


Results from Accenture 2010 UN Global Compact CEOs Study had already highlighted how the economic downturn has raised the importance of sustainability as a leadership issue for top Italian managers (91% of Italian CEOs interviewed agree on that). 72% stated that the crisis had already led Italian companies to increase alignment of core business strategies with sustainability issues. One of the most eye-catching pieces of evidence from the study was that 100% of CEOs state that sustainability issues should be fully embedded into a company’s strategy and operations. More interestingly still, the gap between statements of intent and actual practice was remarkably low: 82% of respondents, in fact, confirmed that these issues were in reality fully


embedded into the strategy and operations of their companies. It is worth noting that 82% (27) Italian companies responding to the CDP information request in 2011 report that they have integrated climate change into their core business strategy and that they have increased the level of involvement and accountability of senior management in managing climate change related issues. A survey on sustainability performance management, conducted this year by Accenture among leading Italian companies to assess the level of integration of sustainability into business as usual, confirms that management of sustainability has advanced to a significant degree of integration with corporate strategy and strategic direction. That survey also highlighted that well-functioning measurement and surrounding processes have been established, although not yet integrated, into traditional enterprise performance management processes and systems.


Emission Reduction Targets and Initiatives


Despite an increase in the absolute number of companies with emissions’ reduction targets, from 16 to 22 in 2011, the percentage of responding companies with emissions’ reduction targets has decreased: 67% (22) of respondents disclose absolute or intensity emission reduction targets, a decrease from 76% of respondents in 2010


67% (22) of responding companies have set an emission reduction target for the current fiscal year, compared to 76% (16) in 2010: this translates to a decrease of 9% from last year. Among those which report reduction targets, 90% of companies have set a target within the next five years. Only A2A, Edison and Unicredit have disclosed reduction targets addressing the next ten years to 2020.


“In Pukrang, Thailand, a waste heat recovery (WHR) system will be built into the current plant structure. Heat recovered from the kiln will be used to generate electricity fed to the grid. An installed capacity of 18MW is foreseen corresponding to a 70 ktonCO2


annual


reduction in emissions.” Italcementi


“Even in a context such as the current one, we cannot forget that we must develop our business by acting responsibly, as we know that sustainability is the key to our future and the future of our children. Environmental protection is for us not only a commitment but also a significant business opportunity.” Unicredit Group


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