Forbes Launches New Research Arm, Shares Debut Report, “State Of Sustainability,” Offering Insights For Sustainable Prosperity

NEW YORK – March 14, 2023 –Forbes today launches Forbes Research, a new division focused on original research on top global business trends. Building on the success of the Forbes CxO Growth Survey, Forbes Research will focus on 3 additional key themes in 2023: Small Business, High Net Worth and The State of Sustainability. These research initiatives are funded by Forbes, and will be used in original content, at ForbesLive events and shared with Forbes clients and partners.

“Today, more C-Suite leaders are looking to lead their business with purpose – solving the problems of people, planet and society in a way that’s still profitable,” said Sherry Phillips, Chief Revenue Officer, Forbes. “At Forbes, one way we are driving systemic change and living out our own purpose is by investing in proprietary research which arms key partners and audiences with insights into important issues, like sustainability. We believe that doing good is good for business, and our investments in this space can drive change forward.”

Led by SVP Janett Haas, Forbes Research has also announced its debut report, “State of Sustainability.” This annual report is the centerpiece of Forbes Research, and it will measure how businesses and business leaders are doing in their efforts to create greater shared prosperity in a manner that is sustainable for people and the environment. The aim of the research and its findings is to measure where the world is today along with yearly rates of progress to achieve sustainable prosperity in the decades ahead.

“This report examines the progress businesses, and business leaders, are making towards their 2030 emissions reduction targets and 2050 net-zero sustainability goals on a global scale today,” said Janett Haas, SVP, Forbes Research and Forbes Insights. “Through this research, we’ve been able to identify gold-standard leadership practices for reaching sustainability goals as well as the challenges these leaders are facing to hit these important milestones.”

Forbes Research has identified critical insights into the state of sustainability efforts today in industries across the world. To help capture the global scope of this disruption and highlight best practices across industries, Forbes Research asked 1,000 C-Suite business leaders about their company’s sustainability activities. This survey was conducted in Q1 of 2023 and gathers insights from executives across a range of functions and industries from organizations with $500M+ in annual revenue.

Forbes Research finds that sustainability has climbed up the corporate agenda in the last few years. Almost 60% of respondents report that sustainability is a core brand value. It is a top three priority for 43% of firms. This shows a significant shift in attitudes around sustainability, as just a quarter of CxOs said it was a top three priority three years ago.

Putting action into effect can be challenge, as only 15% of CxOs completely agree that they are on track to cut emissions by half by 2030 and just over a third to transition to net zero by 2050. While 69% of CxOs say emerging technology is a key solution for driving sustainability in their organization, over half agree that current technology cannot deliver net zero by 2050.

“There is a lot of conversation at the moment around the state of sustainability and the role that companies should be playing in it,” said Ross Gagnon, Executive Director of Research at Forbes. “Forbes is driving systemic change in business, culture and society, and we think it’s important to tackle topics like sustainability through the Forbes lens to better understand how business leaders are approaching this area and provide actionable insights to move these initiatives forward.”

Clarity and collaboration are major factors in driving change. 42% of firms said the top challenge to sustainability reporting and accountability is a lack of clarity about regulations and requirements. Additionally, only 20% of CxOs completely agree fellow members of the C-Suite are actively collaborating on sustainability. Hiring specifically for that role makes a difference though, as firms with a dedicated Chief Sustainability Role report a higher commitment to sustainability compared with the business world overall (65%) than those without (48%).

Forbes Research will release additional reports this year, including its second annual Forbes Small Business Report, second Forbes High Net Worth Report, and the fourth annual Forbes CxO report.

To view the Key Findings from the State of Sustainability report, please visit here.

For more information on Forbes Research and to access additional proprietary research, contact Janett Haas at [email protected].

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