Two thirds of the chief financial officers are
directly involved in company sustainability efforts, according to a
recent study by Ernst & Young (E&Y) media company GreenBiz

The study is based on a survey of 272
sustainability executives from 24 industries, 85% of whom are based
in the United States.

The research found six growing trends in
corporate responsibility including an increase in sustainability
reporting and in the CFOs involvement in sustainability

According to the study, 80% of the respondents
see revenue opportunities in sustainability and 92% expect
sustainability funding to stay the same or increase over the next
three years.

Three quarters of the sustainability
executives said a natural resources shortage, including water, will
directly affect their core business objectives over the next 3-5
years. A similar amount noted they had seen an increase in
inquiries about sustainability issues from investors and

“These findings suggest sustainability efforts
are becoming integrated into the corporate fabric of most large
companies,” said Steve Starbuck, E&Y Americas climate change
and sustainability services leader.

“However, sustainability projects may be
challenged by the fact that two-thirds of companies require them to
meet the same financial payback requirements as other

“While sustainability initiatives can provide
financial returns, their intangible benefits, such as employee
retention and reputational advantages should also be factored into
the return on investment.”