Preliminary Survey Results Released on CXO Sustainability Engagement

Top Quote COO's Found to Be Unsung Leaders, More Engagement from CFO's Desired A new study by the University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program and Newport Consulting Group looks at sustainability engagement across the C-Suite. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 10, 2013 - Portland, OR/Clarkston, MI - Today, the University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program and Newport Consulting Group announced the initial findings of their survey looking to correlate CXO behavior with perceived sustainability performance. Initial results show that the Chief Operation Officer (COO) may be the unsung hero of sustainability efforts.

    The impetus of this survey was to look at the engagement levels across the entire C-Suite at one time-the first study of its kind as far as the two organizations are aware. Interestingly, the COO is rarely studied individually, but was recognized in the study as second only to the CEO in terms of leadership and implementation of sustainability initiatives. CFO's were the most sought after for increased engagement (32%) followed closely by the CEO (31%).

    Additional preliminary findings include:

    1. Sustainability is still a "Lead from the Top" Initiative in Most Organizations. An overwhelming number of organizations responded that the CEO was the main sponsor for the sustainability initiative company-wide (49%) followed by 'green teams' (25%).

    2. Environmental Activities Top Social/Financial Efforts. Sustainability teams are spending more time on the environmental side of the equation (58% over the past 5-10 years) versus social (43% over the past 5-10 years) or financial including integrated reporting (24% over the past 5-10 years).

    3. For Most Companies, the CFO and CIO Have Yet to Engage. Only 18% of CFOs and 11% of the CIOs were identified as "fully engaged" in an organization's sustainability efforts.

    4. The Importance of the COO's Role Gets Recognized. While the CEO by far was identified as the C-suite executive who historically initiated sustainability efforts (58%), the COO was identified as the next most active executive (19%).

    5. Market positioning is a Leading Driver. An overwhelming majority (61%) of participants indicated that "telling our story as an industry leader" was a primary benefit and effective method for engaging both inside and outside stakeholders.

    A webinar scheduled for Thursday, May 23rd at 10am PT/1pm ET will provide more detail and go into deeper insights about the survey's findings. Newport Consulting Group representatives will be attending the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Conference in Chicago May 9-10, 2013 and are available for meetings and discussions about the survey.

    About Newport Consulting Group
    Newport Consulting Group is an independent management consulting firm specializing in strategy, operations, risk management, and technology for commercial, public sector, not for profit, and high growth organizations. The firm maintains focused service offerings in strategy management, market growth and entry, program design & oversight, sustainability management, digital content strategy, and cloud operations management. For more information, please visit the Sustainability Management page at the firm's website ( Inquiries should reference PR-2013-05-06.

    About University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program
    The University of Oregon Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP) provides practitioners with a theoretical foundation and practical tools for leading organizations, communities, and individuals to develop sustainable living and working environments. The Sustainability Leadership Program was launched in 2003 and has served over 1,500 individuals from more than 450 organizations. Participants come from a variety of professional backgrounds and represent a broad range of industries, including government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other sectors. For more information, visit

    Cindy Jennings
    Newport Consulting Group
    4400 W 46th Ave #105
    Denver, CO 80212 USA
    cjennings ( @ ) newportconsgroup dot com

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