Voice of the Industry: Sustainability

August 2019

This report captures the views on sustainability of over 600 professionals working across the globe in different industries. The report shows how companies define sustainability and engage with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while also explores the main barriers and drivers of sustainable investing, showcasing the hottest investment opportunities over the next five years and highlighting sustainable business practices through case studies.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key takeaways for businesses

Sustainability is key for business success

Today, brands are facing increasing pressure from consumers, governments, NGOs, investors and insurance companies to act urgently and help to solve global challenges such as climate change, pollution and poverty.

Sustainability is starting to be perceived as no longer optional and becoming part of the business bottom line, with tangible investment opportunities across all regions.

The SDGs are at the core of business strategies

While many companies are using internal metrics to asses their sustainability strategies, leading players are moving away from this inside-out approach that looks at the business in isolation,

More companies are expected to use the SDG framework as a more holistic approach to corporate sustainability planning and reporting, with market opportunities valued in trillions of US dollars.

Future investment in the waste and recycling sector

While there are many areas where businesses can invest in sustainability, over the next five years, companies are planning cash injections in recycling and sustainable product development.

This comes as no surprise after the rising awareness of the threat of plastics in the ocean. Companies are looking for ways to improve products’ recyclability and recycling, investing in cross-sector partnerships to tackle the problem.

From competitive advantage to requirement

With more visible environmental issues, investors are moving away from short-term profit and injecting capital into more sustainable companies.

As these pressures continue to rise, organisations are seeing sustainability as an area of competitive advantage. However, with more companies integrating sustainability into their core business strategies, it will slowly become less of a competitive advantage and more of a requirement.


Voice of the industry : sustainability snapshot
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
From profit- to purpose-driven brands
Case study: purpose-driven brands
What is sustainability?
Environmental pressures, a key driver for sustainability
Case study: Swarovski measuring its environmental impact
Sustainability a key priority in the boardroom…
…but companies are not doing enough
Changing behaviour is crucial to improve sustainability
More engagement with “2030 Agenda” is also required
How to create a sustainability strategy?
The SDGs are gaining traction
Social goals currently override climate targets
Case studies: investing in social goals
Drivers for sustainable investment
Sustainability impacts brand reputation
Costs and lack of commitment are key obstacles for sustainability
Recycling is a top priority
Case studies: recycling
Key takeaways for businesses
About Euromonitor’s Voice of the Industry series
Focus within sustainability of Voice of the Industry respondents
Job title of Voice of the Industry respondents
Job focus of Voice of the Industry respondents
Sustainability/Geographic focus of Voice of the Industry respondents


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