While many thought the green and sustainable movements would take a backseat due to the recession, studies continue to suggest that has not been the case. According to a press release from the Sustainability Dashboard, one of the latest studies done on the topic is the 2011 Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Survey, which reached out to 3,000 global corporate leaders. The survey was a collaborative effort of The Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review.
 
Their study finds that companies are increasingly moving in green and sustainable directions and that sustainability, in particular, "will become a source of advantage" for many businesses in the future. The study also indicats there are now two types of companies when it comes to sustainable issues:  
• The embracers, aggressively embracing sustainable issues; and
• The laggards, who move slower and far more cautiously.
 
Interestingly, the report found that some of the most successful companies are key embracers of sustainability. These include: General Electric Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., IBM, Apple Inc., and Google.
 
The embracers report the top three benefits of becoming a more sustainable organization were:
• Improved brand reputation, 49 percent;
• Reduced costs due to greater efficiency, 28 percent; and
• Increased competitive advantage, 26 percent.
 
"Right behind these were other notable benefits," says Cynthia Schultz, Chief Operating Officer of Sustainable Dashboard Tools, LLC. "These included reducing costs (26 percent), access to new markets (22 percent) and increased [profit] margins or market share (21 percent)."