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24 reasons why ‘Sustainable Business’ is growing

A client asked me to prepare a list of reasons why sustainable business is growing, for an afternoon briefing this week with journalists that we ran.

So here it is:

1) Widespread business power & wealth concerns: ‘The captive state’

2) Social media explosion

3) Corporate brand and reputation risk

4) Increasingly aggressive campaign groups

5) More partnership opportunities to solve problems (UN, NGOs, Academics, Governments, Business groups)

6) Legal risk: corruption, human rights, environment

7) Youth unemployment

8) Concerned customers: B2B & B2C

9) Rising nationalism and opportunistic governments

10) The war for talent

11) Worried employees: economic, social, environmental

12) Desire for management diversity

13) Shortage of educated employees

14) Cheaper than paying people more!

15) Resource shortage concerns

16) Supply chain resilience

17) Climate science

18) Planetary boundaries research: water, land, biodiversity, ecosystems

19) Big shareholder concerns: 8 from 10 world’s largest pension funds signed UN Principles for Responsible Investment

20) Activist shareholder concerns: Sustainable and Responsible Investment community growing in funds and confidence: Investment from them seen as ‘badge of honour’ by big companies

21) 400 million “soccer moms” in China (and general concerns from Chinese middle class and Government: see latest five year plan)

22) Huge opportunities in emerging markets, frugal products, rising wealth

23) Weak institutions in most developing nations require support

24) Government interest and regulation: EU active, diversity, management pay, emerging countries sometimes speak of “CSR laws” (India)

What’s missing? Any thoughts, comments, whimsical ideas?