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UN Global Compact - Accenture Industry Study

The industry analyses of the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study is based on a survey of 766 CEOs worldwide, initially conducted for the joint report, A New Era of Sustainability, published in 2010. The sector by sector analysis was first published on May 25th 2011, as part of Sustainability 24, an online event that brought together business and local government leaders to demonstrate how sustainability can be embedded throughout an organization. each of the industry analyses can be downloaded below.


Macro trends are shaping new opportunities for companies in the automotive sector: resource scarcity, technological innovation, urbanization, changing demographics, increased regulation and intense competition are starting to create a market environment where CEOs see sustainability as critical to future success.

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In the wake of the downturn, CEOs believe that demonstrating a commitment to sustainability is important in regaining and building trust. Beyond repairing those relationships damaged by the financial crisis, CEOs see new opportunities in financing the transition to a low-carbon economy.

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Just 22 percent of CEOs in the sector – compared to 54 percent globally – believe that these issues will be ‘very important’ to their future success. Our conversations, however, suggest that leading companies are beginning to realize the potential of new opportunities in enabling new solutions to sustainability challenges.

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Consumer Goods

Fully 100% of CEOs of large multinational companies in the sector believe that sustainability will be important to their future success. As consumer demand grows for products and services which address their own environmental footprint, and sustainability issues play an ever greater role in shaping brand perceptions, consumer goods companies see opportunities in taking sustainability seriously.

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In addressing rising demand in new markets, regulatory uncertainty and the transition to a low-carbon economy, sustainability issues have perhaps never been more significant for CEOs in the energy industry. CEOs believe that the effective management of sustainability will play a critical role in determining the winners and losers of the coming decades.

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Infrastructure & Transportation

In an era when sustainability has been steadily rising up the corporate agenda, environmental issues have long been of fundamental importance in the sector. As the rise of smart buildings and intelligent infrastructure has begun to reshape demand from governments, customers and end users, sustainability has become an ever more critical part of companies’ route to success.

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Government pressure, regulatory requirements, resource scarcity and commodity volatility all present a challenging operating environment for utilities companies, but new waves of investment in advanced technologies, smart infrastructure and Intelligent Cities present new opportunities for those companies able to master the new dynamics of the industry.

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