AccountAbility CEO, Sunny Misser, speaks to the key trends driving sustainability performance

Washington D.C. – AccountAbility CEO, Mr. Sunny Misser, spoke with Mr. Matthew Bechard, Senior Vice President of Communications at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit), about the key trends shaping business in 2019.

Mr. Misser reflected on the changing role of sustainability in business in recent years. Highlighting AccountAbility’s 7 Sustainability Trends for 2019, he identified the following factors shaping the business landscape in 2019:

  • Increased industry collaboration on climate action;
  • Companies setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals to address the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Growing need for effective measurement, management, monitoring and communication of impact;
  • Supply chain transparency and traceability;
  • Movement from a linear to a circular economy;
  • Rapid urbanization; and
  • Understanding the implications of automation and technology on business operations.

Mr. Misser also noted that regulators and investors have stepped up their interest in sustainability. For example, in the real estate industry, 74% of investors now examine the ESG risks of REITs and their holdings prior to making investment decisions.

He commented, “stakeholders are no longer satisfied with output measures…they are very much focused on impact”.

Drawing on AccountAbility’s experience across industry sectors, Mr. Misser offered targeted suggestions to forward-thinking organizations that seek to improve their sustainability performance – including the importance of gaining top leadership endorsement, “bolting-on” to existing change efforts across the organization, and the need to communicate a compelling narrative.

He also emphasized the consolidation and specializing of reporting and disclosure frameworks, such as SASB, ISO and GRESB, which highlight the growing demand for businesses across all industries to better demonstrate the value that they create for society, the planet and the economy.

With these sustainability trends changing the business landscape, Mr. Misser advises organizations with ambitious sustainability agendas to, “Focus on the easy wins first and put some scores on the board. Do two to three big things and do them well.”

For more information on how an organization can improve its sustainability performance, please contact us at www.accountability.org

AccountAbility’s 7 Sustainability Trends for 2019, published earlier this year.

Accountability’s AA1000 AccountAbility Principles, a practical set of guiding principles used to assess, manage, improve and communicate accountability and sustainability performance.