A 2016 global survey of 907 stakeholders in business, government, NGOs and academia, across 84 countries, has found NGOs to be contributing the most and found governments’ disappointing
Titled ‘The 2016 Sustainability Leaders,’ a survey by GlobeScan and SustainAbility, published in partnership with Sustainability Brands, the survey threw up a few surprises. The survey’s purpose was ‘to evaluate the progress that various institutions have made since 1992 and reflect on their expectations for the next 20 years.’ The surveyors also ‘wanted to know who the experts consider to be sustainability leaders among corporations, NGOs and national governments.
- The non-state actors continue to outperform all other institutions on sustainable development – especially national governments, which remain at the bottom of the list for their achievements.
- The landscape of expectations for future leadership has been shifting. The private sector has been facing growing expectations to play a larger role, while the perceived role of governments in advancing the sustainable development agenda has been diminishing.
- The Non-profit organizations are seen as having made the largest contribution to sustainable development since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, followed by social entrepreneurs, academic organizations and citizen-led social change movements.
- Business has seen a steady rise in expectations for leadership in the last four years, while the level of responsibility placed on national governments has been declining. The past performance record and expectations for future leadership remain at odds for key institutions. National governments and business are seen as having very poor track records but at the same time are expected to play key roles leading the sustainable development agenda in the next 20 years.