Family businesses ‘taking the lead in sustainability’

A new report from KPMG Private Enterprise and the STEP Project Global Consortium reveals that family businesses are leading the way in sustainability.

The report, titled “A Road Well-Travelled: How Family Businesses Are Guiding the Sustainability Journey,” is based on a survey of 2,439 family businesses in 70 countries. It found that family businesses are more likely than other types of businesses to Invest in sustainability initiatives, create shared value for all stakeholders, gain a competitive advantage and achieve long-term growth.

The report’s authors say that family businesses are well-positioned to lead on sustainability because they have a long-term view, a strong commitment to values, and a deep understanding of their stakeholders.

They also say that family businesses can help to drive broader sustainability progress by sharing their knowledge and expertise with other businesses.

Commenting on the findings, Harish Gopinath, partner and head of KPMG Enterprise in the Middle East, South Asia and Caspian region, said: “Companies in Bahrain and the region that effectively anticipate and meet the increasing environmental and societal expectations are likely to enhance their reputation, attract and retain talented employees, and find new business opportunities.”

According to him, sustainability is starting to become a crucial aspect of conducting business in the kingdom as the country is making significant efforts to transition towards low-carbon solutions and reduce its carbon footprint in line with Sustainability Goals 2030 (SDGs).

“Companies that fail to adapt to this shift may face challenges in competing with those that prioritise and embrace sustainability and environmental responsibility as part of their business strategies,” he added.

The report emphasises some of the key requirements to help businesses unlock improved sustainability performance – the essence of which can serve as a ‘blue-print’ to guide sustainable and responsible business practices, many lessons of which are applicable across the marketplace.

“I truly believe that family businesses that successfully engage with all their stakeholders on this sustainability journey will not only just survive but in fact prosper,” said KPMG Private Enterprise family business global leader Tom McGinness.

“Those that don’t step up are likely to be left behind and the choice for companies may be that binary. Family businesses have prospered based on core sustainability principles across several generations, and there are many lessons that everyone can take away from their experience.”

The report concludes by calling on all businesses to embrace sustainability and to do their part to address the world’s environmental and societal challenges.




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