Business sustainability is largely driven by regulatory compliance, with UK based organisations leading its implementation, according to a joint study by UK and North American accountancy institutes.
In the report Evolution of corporate sustainability practices, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) interviewed sustainability executives in all three countries
According to combined results, 34% of large companies said compliance with regulatory standards was the main driver for adopting sustainability practices followed by managing reputational risk at 32%.
For SMEs regulatory compliance was also at the top of the list with 29% followed by cost cutting efficiency at 19%.
The survey also revealed that UK companies are ahead of North America in implementing sustainability practices. According to the data gathered by CIMA 88% of the surveyed large UK companies have a sustainability strategy in place compared to only 61% of companies surveyed by the AICPA.
SMEs, while slightly behind mostly plan to launch a sustainability practice in the next year or two according to survey results.
The survey interviewed sustainability executives from 2,036 companies to examine key characteristics of business sustainability and the level of finance function involvement in corporate sustainability initiatives.