In a world of rising energy prices, increased scarcity of natural resources, rampant changes in our climate, growing competition from emerging economies, and increased consumer concern about the quality of life, health and safety, corporate sustainability is synonymous with corporate survival.

Surprisingly, that message is not getting through to many CEO’s.

Only half of the businesses recently polled on a global survey of corporate sustainability reported having a formal sustainability strategy. The survey also showed with such strategies were more focused on improving public perceptions or responding to increased regulation, than meeting broader societal needs or generating revenue opportunities.

More than 75% of the respondents said sustainability was an important part of their organization’s corporate strategy, or would become so in the future. But a string of reports indicates companies need to spend less time thinking about sustainability and more time putting it into action.

CEOs made up the majority of respondents of the poll developed by the Vandiver Group, an award-winning strategic communications firm, and sponsored by PR firm Pinnacle Worldwide. This is ironic, because the same study shows that CEOs are the primary drivers of sustainability decisions, with communications and public affairs managers rarely in that role.

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