This project set out to identify companies originating in the emerging markets for the purpose of researching and understanding the most effective innovative practices for driving sustainable growth. Sixteen proactive innovators were selected from an initial pool of more than 1,000 companies based on the criteria of sustainability, innovation and scalability: these companies clearly stand out as the New Sustainability Champions. For further details on the selection methodology, please refer to Annex 1.
The New Sustainability Champions are not confined to one region or continent. They are by no means unique to the fast-growth BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and are located across the globe and in a wide range of industries.
They tend to grow faster and have higher-than- average margins for their industries. Not only do they have a business impact – doing well by conventional financial measures – but they also have a positive effect on society around them.
The New Sustainability Champions share characteristics that enable them to balance environmental and societal contributions with steady profitability. As will be discussed in the next section of this report, they innovate and grow in ways that turn constraints into assets and opportunities. They embed sustainability in their corporate culture and proactively shape their business environments.
These Champions are more than mere symbols. Their overall performance matters because emerging markets are set to contribute more than three-quarters of global growth by 2012, and because those markets will likely be most affected by resource scarcity. They are in the forefront of the businesses working to overcome fundamental environmental and social challenges, reshaping business landscapes. Collectively and individually, they are becoming inspirational models for their emerging-market peers and companies worldwide.