A new study commissioned by Castrol has revealed that 71% of business leaders and 62% of operational professionals believe that managing the net zero transition will be the biggest challenge their business has ever faced.
The new study – The Sharp End of Sustainability – presents the findings of global opinion research among over 2,860 business leaders and operational professionals, commissioned by Castrol in 14 markets to learn how the automotive, industrial, manufacturing and marine sectors are approaching the transition to a sustainable economy. Complementing Castrol’s own sustainability strategy, Castrol’s PATH360.
For these businesses, the research suggests that sustainability will be essential to commercial success: over three-quarters of business leaders (76%) and 68% of operational professionals in the study said that improving the sustainability of their business is key to meeting customer needs.
The study identified five key sustainability related learnings for business leaders and operational professionals, the people who will ultimately be tasked with turning strategy into action.
Rachel Bradley, Global Sustainability Director at Castrol said: “As the world works together to create a more sustainable economy, all companies – including Castrol, our clients and our suppliers – have a role to play. Reaching out across organisations, building connections between sectors, and sharing learnings across our networks will help us to move forward together.”
Learning One: Efficiency First
Almost three quarters (72%) of operational professionals in the study said that the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions is improving energy efficiency in their organisation.
The research showed that operational professionals believe that energy efficiency could be improved by a range of tactics, including:
- effective maintenance of equipment.
- engineered improvements including upgrades and modifications; and
- the implementation of new, more energy-efficient technologies.
Two-thirds of operational professionals said that energy efficient machinery is an important part of their organisation’s transition and 59% said that investing in new technology to improve energy efficiency will be an important part of any strategy for reducing emissions.
Learning Two: Make Data Work Harder
Over three-quarters of business leaders (76%) in the study believed their business needs to get better at managing data to inform the best areas to focus on to improve sustainability, and 82% believed their business could make better use of the data they have available to improve sustainability.
Learning Three: Waste Not, Want Not
The study revealed that 63% of business leaders have set waste reduction targets and 61% have set water reduction targets. Whilst 58% of operational professionals believe that waste reduction targets are important to their business, just 43% believed that water use reduction targets are important.
Learning Four: Sustainability Requires Participation
Business leaders participating in the study believed that an average of just 40% of their employees understand their sustainability strategy. The study also found that 46% of operational professionals who took part in the research believe that their organisation’s sustainability strategy is not being carried out on the ground.
Learning Five: Prove that Sustainability is a Priority
Although over two-thirds of business leaders (64%) in the study said that sustainability is at the core of everything their organisation does, the study shows that operational professionals surveyed believe that lack of leadership and vision is hindering progress. A lack of support for sustainability from the business’s leadership team (cited by 48% of operational professionals), not having clear targets (48%), a lack of clear business strategy for delivering sustainability (48%) and a lack of vision from business leadership (47%) were found to be the top barriers to sustainability for their business.
These five learnings provide valuable insight for business leaders in the automotive, industrial, manufacturing and marine sectors about embedding sustainability across their organisations.
This study was commissioned to complement Castrol’s overarching sustainability strategy, PATH360. PATH360 focuses on reducing carbon, saving waste, and working to improve people’s lives around the world as well as contributing to Castrol’s overall aim of becoming net zero by 2050 or sooner.