Published on 4 March 2022
Share Tweet  Share

New study identifies leadership and culture as catalysts for successful corporate sustainability

Research from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and JMJ explores cultural and behavioural barriers to sustainability.

Most business leaders recognise the growing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, yet few fully understand the strategic implications or the impact on day-to-day activities. Why should they care when there is no settled regulation on ESG standards or reporting? What are the right indicators to select to monitor ESG performance? Who in the organisation, and at what level, is responsible for delivery? How do sustainability practices affect the bottom line, and over what time frame?

A comprehensive new study from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and global culture transformation consulting firm, JMJ, set out to answer these questions by asking global businesses to share attitudes, barriers, and enablers of successful corporate sustainability strategies from a leadership and culture standpoint. The findings highlight recurring issues and concerns across businesses as well as areas of difference.

“There is no doubt leaders in business will need to embed sustainability in their corporate strategies,” said Professor Diane Coyle of the Bennett Institute. “Many will already have realised the importance of sustainability metrics. They need to go beyond that discussion to think about how their strategy, culture, and day-to-day activities will have to change – and about the role of leadership in delivering that.”

The study coincides with the launch of JMJ’s sustainability practice alongside the safety and performance transformation solutions it is well-known for. The company has also enriched its industry-leading approach to culture transformation with intelligent data and analytics from the JMJ Transformation Cloud, its digital assessment, learning and coaching platform.

“The Bennett Institute’s research underscores the link JMJ has identified between an organisation’s culture and the success of its sustainability strategy,” said Jeff Williams, CEO at JMJ. “Those that treat ESG as a box-ticking exercise will fail to take advantage of the strategic opportunity presented by enabling sustainability across all activities. If an organisation is going to embrace sustainability as a practice, leadership must take the lead in aligning mindsets, structures, skills, and culture.”

Download the study from

Back to Top