Recent Release | 13 Jan 2022

Sustainability as a transformation catalyst: Trailblazers turn aspiration into action

Thought Leadership Team

Oxford Economics


IBM’s Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics surveyed just under 2,000 executives in 32 countries in 2021. Key executives included Chief Sustainability Officers and Chief Innovation Officers, among many others. We wanted to find out the impact of acting on sustainability strategy: does it hurt innovation or upend the path toward digital transformation? We found that this new corporate priority—the sustainability agenda—can actually be a catalyst for transformation and innovation.

Becoming a sustainable enterprise is not easy. Many corporations are committed to sustainability, but only a few have a clear strategy to achieve those goals. Moreover, lack of data, technological barriers, and customer resistance all pose significant barriers to sustainability initiatives. Integrating digital transformation and sustainability initiatives can be a powerful lever to encourage progress.

About the team

Our Thought Leadership team produces original, evidence-based research made accessible to decision-makers and opinion leaders. Principals for this project included:

Tom Ehrbar

Senior Editor, Thought Leadership

+1 646 668 5794

Tom Ehrbar

Senior Editor, Thought Leadership

New York, United States

Tom Ehrbar sits at the centre of the editorial and production flow for all Thought Leadership studies, overseeing the firm’s primary research activities and managing the group’s extensive global editorial network of more than 500 researchers, writers, and analysts. Tom has worked on a range of research programmes, from global talent and diversity studies to surveys of financial advisors and wealthy investors to global country risk indicators.

Tom joined Oxford Economics in 2012 after two decades at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), where he managed a team of editors focused on cross-border trade and finance. While at the EIU he also contributed to client research papers on topics ranging from a review of labour trends in the Mozambique mining sector to the prospects for private equity in Latin America. He is the editor of Business International’s Guide to International Licensing (1992). Tom holds a BA in English from Kenyon College.

You might be interested in

The Race for Data Supremacy: Achieving decision advantage to deter future conflicts

Oxford Economics, in collaboration with IBM, interviewed government and military officials to understand how data can be used to create a sustainable decision advantage.

Find Out More
How Generative AI Will Reset Talent & Skills: A new frontier for the future of work

Generative AI is redefining every job and every task, from the entry-level to the executive suite. We’ve identified three things CEOs need to know and three things they need to do now.

Find Out More
Enterprise generative AI: State of the market

Executives know they need generative AI—but there’s a gap between awareness and the ability to deliver value at scale.

Find Out More
CEO decision-making in the age of AI: Act with intention

Any decision that makes its way to the CEO is one that involves high degrees of uncertainty, nuance, or outsize impact. If it was simple, someone else—or something else—would do it. As the world grows more complex, so does the nature of the decisions landing on a CEO’s desk.

Find Out More