Experts and Executives Agree: The Profit Motive Hinders Sustainability

Sasha Kimel/CC BY-ND 2.0

From a GE executive's insistence that the environment vs economy tradeoff is nonsense, to British industry leaders calling for effective environmental regulation, the idea that the long-term interests of the economy are inherently connected to the health of our planet is hardly disputable. Yet businesses have a notoriously hard time thinking long-term. And a new UN-backed study, reported over at Business Green, confirms that corporate executives and academics alike agree that short-term profit motives are one of the biggest obstacles to environmentally responsible business:

A global survey of 642 senior executives, campaigners and academics conducted by consultancies GlobeScan and SustainAbility found 88 per cent of respondents regard pressure to deliver immediate financial results remains a significant barrier to firms' sustainability efforts. Inappropriate regulations and low awareness of the potential financial benefits of greener practices were also named as barriers to the adoption of sustainable business models by two-thirds of respondents.

Tags: Corporate Responsibility | Economics | United Nations

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