Global assurance provider LRQA has released an international survey that reveals that only 38% of organisations are using at least one management standard to drive progress in their environmental sustainability capabilities. Surveying more than 1,100 sustainability professionals across 11 countries and 13 industries, the Climate Focus report also recognised an inconsistent approach to working towards recognised standards.
“The results of our survey are positive in that organisations are showing awareness of the need to measure and manage their environmental sustainability commitments,” said Heather Moore, Supply Chain Technical Director for Sustainability, LRQA. “However, it is clear from our findings that many are relying on self-verification, which is difficult to monitor and report accurately. Any sign of a lack of transparency could have significant consequences, such as a downturn in investor confidence and customer trust.”
Among the rest of the findings, more organisations require third-party verification from suppliers (55%) than have it themselves, and only 46% are having their data and information independently verified. As an advice, global organisations should start regarding independent third-party verification as an essential tool to prove best practice in pursuing transparency, trust and supply chain visibility.
“Despite the relatively positive feedback from sustainability professionals, the results show some clear challenges facing organisations. It is concerning that sustainability leaders listed a lack of resources as a key barrier to verification against environmental objectives and commitments, despite acknowledging the value of using verification to a standard,” Heather Moore added.
“It shows us that there is still work to be done to ensure environmental sustainability goals are met. It is crucial that businesses do not tackle these challenges alone. As demand for substantiated commitments are likely to increase, seeking independent third-party verification can help drive both credibility and confidence from both customers and stakeholders.”
The survey also found that almost all (93%) of sustainability leaders surveyed identified at least one internal barrier to help achieve environmental sustainability targets. A lack of knowledge, resourcing, complexity and cost were all cited as problematic.
In total, LRQA’s survey reached 1,123 sustainability leaders who work in mid-to-large organisations across 11 countries: China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, UK and USA. The findings are explored in a first-of-its-kind report looking at preparedness around environmental sustainability in business.
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