Vodafone Business Report: Sustainability Delivers Competitive Advantage and Business Durability for U.S. Companies

Latest “Fit for the Future” report shows that sustainability – good for the planet – delivers tangible benefits – good for business – for U.S. organizations

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sustainability, once a “nice to have” goal for businesses, is now a strategic priority for businesses as consumers demand, and investors reward, responsible operations. For U.S. businesses, that priority is now considered a competitive advantage, as more than 60% of U.S. firms cite sustainability as a potential differentiator, and more than half (55%) have made it a strategic goal. This – and other findings – come from the latest “Fit for the Future” report from Vodafone Business.

Conducted in partnership with B2B International, “Fit for the Future” explores business leaders’ attitudes and actions regarding sustainability, innovation, and resilience from a survey of 301 organizations in the U.S. Using these responses, Vodafone qualifies organizations as “Fit for the Future” by scoring them against their peers for measures such as speed-to-market, embrace of change, detailed strategic planning, openness to new technologies, and currency with emerging trends.

This year, 27% of U.S. firms surveyed achieved “Fit for the Future” status – higher than the global level of 22% of organizations. And being on that leading edge is delivering tangible, bottom-line business impact, including:

  • Higher profits today – Six of ten U.S. FFTF firms have higher profits than a year ago, compared with 51% of non-FFTF firms.
  • Forecast is bright – 83% of FFTF firms in the U.S. forecast higher earnings over the next five years, compared with 71% for non-FFTF U.S. firms.

Sustainability as a driver for success

Sustainability played a pivotal role in the higher “Fit for the Future” ranking for the U.S., revealing it as a strategic, operational, and competitive priority capable of helping businesses become more durable, resilient, and – potentially – more profitable. Additionally, half of U.S. firms surveyed say environmental sustainability has helped improve their financial performance (aligning with global levels).

Firms already implementing sustainability practices into their business plan realize significant benefits, as 47% of those U.S. businesses surveyed reporting higher profits this year have a formal ESG program in place – significantly higher than firms reporting lower profits, where around 1 in 5 (22%) have such programs in place.

Additionally, U.S. firms are more optimistic than their counterparts worldwide about their ability to make measurable progress on sustainability over the next ten years. More than seven out of ten say progress should be “quite” or “fairly” straightforward, compared to 63% globally. The most critical areas where U.S. firms say technology breakthroughs will be needed include adopting renewable energy (44%), reducing energy consumption from digital devices (37%), and more organic or biodegradable packaging materials (36%).

“Sustainability is both at once a simple and complex idea for businesses,” said David Joosten, CEO of Vodafone US. “For some, it is about adopting operational standards and processes that promote resiliency, predictability, and profitability across the global enterprise. For others, it is about understanding and mitigating climate impacts by reducing carbon footprints, emissions, and other environmental impacts. At Vodafone, we believe sustainability can embody both definitions as both a purposeful way of doing business that promotes durability, resiliency, and responsibility and an intentional strategy capable of promoting innovation, delivering competitive advantage, and driving growth.”

For more on the Vodafone Fit for the Future U.S. report, visit: www.vodafone.com/business/news-and-insights/white-papers/fit-for-the-future-report-us-insights

About Vodafone

Unique in its scale as the largest pan-European and African technology communications company, Vodafone transforms the way we live and work through its innovation, technology, connectivity, platforms, products, and services.

Vodafone operates mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries, and partners with mobile networks in 47 more. As of 30 June 2022, we had over 300m mobile customers, more than 28m fixed broadband customers and 22m TV customers. Vodafone is a world leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting around 160m devices and platforms.

We have revolutionised fintech in Africa through M-Pesa, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2022. It is the region’s largest fintech platform, providing access to financial services for more than 50m people in a secure, affordable, and convenient way.

Our purpose is to connect for a better future by using technology to improve lives, digitalise critical sectors and enable inclusive and sustainable digital societies.

We are committed to reducing our environmental impact to reach net zero emissions across our full value chain by 2040, while helping our customers reduce their own carbon emissions by 350m tonnes by 2030. We are driving action to reduce device waste and achieve our target to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of our network waste.

We believe in the power of connectivity and digital services to improve society and economies, partnering with governments to digitalise healthcare, education and agriculture and create cleaner, safer cities. Our products and services support the digitalisation of businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Our inclusion for all strategy seeks to ensure no-one is left behind through access to connectivity, digital skills and creating relevant products and services such as access to education, healthcare and finance. We are also committed to developing a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the customers and societies we serve.

For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com, follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone.


Melissa Salottolo

Senior Customer Engagement and External Communications Lead



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