2016 Sustainability Leaders Survey – Our thoughts

Few months ago, SustAinability and GlobeScan released the results of the 2016 Sustainability Leaders Survey.

You can read here, my overview of the 2015 results.

Key points of the 2016 Survey:

  • Non-state actors continue to outperform all other institutions on sustainable development – especially national governments.

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  • The private sector has been facing growing expectations to play a larger role, while the perceived role of governments in advancing the sustainable development agenda has been diminishing. This sends a powerful message to business about its perceived role in contributing to the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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  • Unilever remains the most recognized sustainability leader. To obtain a more nuanced picture of corporate leadership globally, this year experts has been asked to name companies that they believe are top performers within their home regions.

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Unilever, Patagonia, Natura and Nestlé are on the top of the ranking. Some of these same brands are also named as Biodiversity Champion in the Biodiversity Barometer 2016, released by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT).

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  • As mentioned in previous articles and as confirmed in the survey,  the main mean used by such companies is to INTEGRATE Sustainability in their strategy, core business and branding.

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  • How to ensure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals? Key believes from the surveyed experts are Partnerships and Innovation.

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With regards to this matter, I would like to share with you two of our clients that actually are using these tools:

  • Cosmo International Ingredients, committed to providing the most innovative, sustainable and fairly traded natural ingredients, has decided to align its own Sustainability Values and Goals with the UN’s SDGs on the basis of close collaborations with their long-lasting partners and local institutions.
  • Firmenich with its Naturals Together and 2020 DeepRoots programs. These programs are based on long-term partnership, enhancing the loyalty and excellence of key partners.


  1. The 2016 Sustainability Leaders | A GlobeScan / SustainAbility Survey
  • 2016 Biodiversity Barometer / UEBT / Methodology:
    • Consumers Survey: Fieldwork: March-April 2016 – 1000 per country. On line – France, Germ, UK, US, Brazil, Peru. Phone in Ecuador – On hold due to Earthquake (April 24).
    • Street Interviews: Fieldwork: April-May 2016. France, Germ, UK, US, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador. More than 90 interviews.
    • Companies Reporting: Conducted by UEBT in April 2016. Beauty’s Top 100 of Women’s Wear Daily, & 2015 Food and Beverage Top 100 of the Food Engineering Mag.