The second annual global sustainability study from the MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and The Boston Consulting Group found that the sustainable investments of nearly 60% of companies grew in 2010, despite the recession. Nearly 2/3 of this group, the so-called ‘Embracers’, believe sustainable investments pay off and boost profits.

The Embracers tend to be large and resource intensive companies that believe sustainability gives them a competitive advantage and license to operate. They’re early movers and long-term thinkers that balance big picture aspirations with a focus on short-term results. Sustainability is driven from the top down and integrated throughout the company.

Further, Embracers put stock in intangible benefits, measure and assess everything, strive to be authentic and most importantly transparent.

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Why do you think there is still a gap between leaders and laggards? And why are there still laggards when it comes to the benefits of sustainability? What can leaders do to help the laggards understand why sustainability is vital to a company’s long-term success? Discuss!