Almost all future business leaders plan to incorporate sustainability into their careers
Emily writes for CorpComms Mag, follow her tweets here @EmilyAVNicholls
The next generation of business leaders believe that sustainability must be a priority for all businesses and 96 per cent plan to incorporate sustainability into their careers, according to a recent study by Sky.
The 'Sky Future Leaders' study highlights the importance of sustainable responsibility for future business success, and was based on the views of 751 graduate trainees, MBA graduates and middle managers who have shown potential for leadership positions.
The future business leaders referred to themselves as the first 'sustainable generation', based on their engagement with social responsibility in their own lives and in the media.
More than two thirds of respondents think that their personal beliefs have an effect on which companies they trust and engage with, and almost 80 per cent believe that the vision of a company is an important factor when choosing between potential employers. A third of those surveyed think that creating social and environmental value through business is an important career goal.
Separate to their personal lives, 70 per cent of respondents believe that sustainability can create new opportunities for business, and just a fifth think that sustainability has to come at the expense of profit. Two thirds said that the economic climate should not affect businesses' involvement with sustainability initiatives.
More than a fifth of participants believe that UK companies are not making real sustainability efforts, and just three per cent think that companies are integrating sustainability strategies successfully. A third of respondents believe that businesses effectively use internal communications channels for their sustainability policies.
Less than a fifth of the MBA students surveyed said they believed the businesses that claim they have a social purpose beyond creating profits.
Almost all of the participants plan on engaging with sustainability matters in their future careers, however almost two thirds of respondents said that they have not received sufficient sustainability training from their business schools or employers.
The participants came up with a plan to address sustainability once in senior management positions, which they whittled down to five key points: to improve employee engagement, to collaborate with competitors, to take responsibility for the supply chain, to integrate sustainability into decisions and to embrace new technology.
The research was carried out between September and November, and the report is based on findings by market research firm Populus.