Making Sustainability More Tangible – Daily

A persistent managerial challenge is how to account for the intangible value generated from sustainability initiatives. Executives recognize the impacts these efforts engender with key stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, partners, politicians, and the like. The challenge is that these important stakeholder impacts are difficult to see or measure — for example, you can’t look at two eggs and identify which one was grown sustainably. To overcome this, the author suggests companies “tangibilize” — that is, make the intangible benefits more clear. He offers an example of how Intel created a program to tangibilize the value of artificial intelligence in the mid-2010s, before ChatGPT made AI a household name.
When I became the sustainability guest editor for the MIT Sloan Management Review a decade ago, I joined a research project sponsored by the Boston Consulting Group to track the evolution of corporate sustainability management. Over the course of nine years, our annual global surveys reached more than 60,000 respondents in 118 countries.


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