What does sustainable business leadership look like in 2021? edie publishes results of flagship survey

The report is free to download for edie users

The 17-page report, developed in association with Centrica Business Solutions, is aimed at business leaders, sustainability, CSR and energy professionals who are seeking information, inspiration and advice when it comes to accelerating climate action in the 2021s. 

It is based on a survey of more than 200 sustainability, CSR and energy professionals from across the country, representing the entire corporate spectrum, from SMEs to multinationals.


edie’s content director Luke Nicholls wrote in the report: “The challenge-to-opportunity mindset is a running theme throughout edie’s 2021 Sustainable Business Leadership Report. Compiled in association with Centrica Business Solutions, this flagship annual report is based on an in-depth survey of corporate sustainability leaders which explores what great business looks like in the context of environmental and social sustainability. And, as you’ll see from the results which follow, it gives us genuine cause for optimism.

“Put simply, 2021 is the year that will define the century. This report is just the beginning.”

edie’s annual survey reveals what “business leadership” looks like for sustainability, CSR and energy professionals across the UK, following our first two reports in 2019 and 2020. With businesses responding to the pandemic in different ways, leadership is being redefined.

The report looks at key questions such as: Was 2020 a successful year from a sustainable business perspective? How did CSR fare as the coronavirus pandemic emerged and continues to derail economic stability? How optimistic do sustainability and energy professionals feel about the year ahead? How important will COP26 be? And what are the business traits and personal skills required to turn those commitments into actions in 2021?

The report features a viewpoint from Centrica Business Solutions’ head of product management for UK&I and International Tim Wynn-Jones as well as a foreword, from Forum for the Future’s founder-director Jonathon Porritt.

“Facing the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years, keeping the focus on the climate and ecological emergencies through 2020 has indeed proved very challenging,” Porritt states in the report. “But there’s been a constant drumbeat of corporate initiatives that made for a much more positive conclusion to the year than was once thought likely.

“This is powerfully reflected in edie’s 2021 Sustainable Business Leadership Survey, which should give heart to all those who look increasingly to business not just to promote rapid decarbonisation in individual companies, but to encourage governments to do what they now so urgently need to do – and do it with a lot less of the half-hearted equivocation that has been so painfully on display over the past 10 years. B2G: Step up – and stop standing by!”

Analysing the key opportunities that 2021 and the next normal will bring, this report provides a welcome injection of optimism for CSR professionals seeking to galvanise corporate efforts on sustainability and drive a green recovery.

Click here to download the report.

edie staff

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