10 things you need to know about sustainability in B2B

Recent years have seen a growing buzz around sustainability in business. Small, medium and large businesses across the globe know they’re expected to commit to real change, and fast.

Like most companies, you’re probably somewhere between the planning and implementation stages of some real game-changing sustainability strategies. And if not, you’re at least thinking about it.

No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, we thought you might find a little rundown of the ESG landscape useful for shaping your next steps.

1. Eco-anxiety is higher than ever, yet business executives are not focusing on where they can have the greatest impact

79% of executives see the world at a tipping point for responding to climate change, yet only 19% are taking enough needle-moving actions to create a positive impact.


2. Businesses play a vital role in transitioning to a better future

Just 100 businesses globally are responsible for 71% of the global GHG emissions that cause global warming since 1998.

The Carbon Majors Database

3. ESG credentials are no longer nice-to-have. Business investors, buyers and decision makers expect and actively look for it now. 

90% of institutional investors say they now pay more attention to companies’ ESG performance when making investment, and 74% are more likely to revise investments if it doesn’t meet the mark 


4. ESG pays off in the mid to long-term

58% of business executives believe operating sustainably involves a trade-off with growth, but research shows that companies with high ESG ratings outperform the market average in both medium and long-term earnings. 

Accenture, McKinsey 

5. People want to work for companies that are doing good

While a US survey showed that 40% of millennials have taken a job because of the company’s sustainability, Gen Z is also more likely to stay longer at a company if they have strong ESG commitments.

Fast Company, FT

6. Sustainability impacts B2B decision making

Whilst B2B buyers are focused on their company’s profit and finances, they also pride themselves on making good choices. 57% of B2B buyers say sustainability influences the purchase decision “somewhat” or “decisively.

 Sustainable Brands Index 

7. Despite businesses agreeing it needs to go, the ‘say-do’ gap persists

While 72% of executives say becoming a truly sustainable and responsible business is a top priority for their organisation over  the next three years, 66% say they aren’t ready to communicate their actions.


8. Clear and transparent communication around sustainability is in demand, yet it isn’t considered an easy feat by any means

61% of customers and partners demand more transparency on climate impact, but only 7% of marketers feel at complete ease with communicating ideas around climate change. 

London Business School

9. Regulation is increasing 

In January 2022, the CMA introduced the Green Claims Code to ensure any claims made in ads relating to selling or promoting goods and services are specific and fully evidence based.

10. It’s about the journey, not just where you’re going

90% of marketers believe it’s okay to say you haven’t fixed all your problems when it comes to communicating on sustainability. 


The time for action is now. ESG credentials are no longer just a nice-to-have addition to your business; customers, investors and regulators alike demand to see ESG accountability from companies. As B2B decision makers continue to grow more environmentally conscious, business sustainability commitments become more and more important. Make sure your business doesn’t get left behind. 

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(Header Photo: Photo by Scott Hewitt on Unsplash)