Sustainability - Will Bots Will Succeed Where Humans Have Failed
April 25, 2022
People around the world are demanding more progress on sustainability and social
efforts and are looking to businesses to step up, according to a new study by
Oracle and Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor, Instructor for Harvard Professional
Development. The “No Planet B” study surveyed more than 11,000 consumers and
business leaders across 15 countries and found that people are fed up with the
lack of progress society is making towards sustainability and social
initiatives, want businesses to turn talk into action, and believe technology
can help businesses succeed where people have failed.
“The events of the past two years have put
sustainability and social initiatives under the microscope and people are
demanding material change. While there are challenges to tackling these issues,
businesses have an immense opportunity to change the world for the better,” said
Pamela Rucker, CIO Advisor and Instructor for Harvard Professional Development.
“The results show that people are more likely to do business with and work for
organizations that act responsibly toward our society and the environment. This
is an opportune moment. While thinking has evolved, technology has as well, and
it can play a key role in overcoming many of the obstacles that have held
“It’s never been more critical for businesses to invest in sustainability and
ESG initiatives, as people don’t just want to hear about it—they’re looking for
decisive action and are demanding more transparency and tangible results,” said
Juergen Lindner, senior vice president and CMO, Global Marketing SaaS, Oracle.
“Business leaders understand the importance, yet often have the erroneous
assumption that they need to prioritize either profits or sustainability. The
truth is this is not a zero-sum game. The technology that can eliminate all the
obstacles to ESG efforts is now available, and organizations that get this right
can not only support their communities and the environment, but also realize
significant revenue gains, cost savings, and other benefits that impact the
businesses to step up sustainability and social efforts
The events of
the past two years have put a spotlight on sustainability
and social efforts with people worldwide fed up with the
lack of progress and calling for businesses to step up.
percent of people believe sustainability and social
factors are more important than ever and 80 percent said
the events over the past two years have caused them to
change their actions.
percent believe society has not made enough progress. 42
percent attribute the lack of progress to people being
too busy with other priorities, 39 percent believe it is
the result of more emphasis on short-term profits over
long-term benefits, and 37 percent believe people are
too lazy or selfish to help save the planet.
percent believe businesses can make more meaningful
change to sustainability and social factors than
individuals or governments alone.
percent are frustrated and fed up with the lack of
progress by businesses to-date and 89 percent believe
it’s not enough for businesses to say they’re
prioritizing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG),
they need to see action and proof.
percent believe businesses would make more progress
towards sustainability and social goals with the help of
AI and 61 percent even believe bots will succeed where
humans have failed.
Human bias and
operational challenges are holding businesses back
leaders know sustainability efforts are critical to
corporate success and even trust bots over humans alone to
drive sustainability and social efforts:
percent believe sustainability and ESG programs are
critical to the success of their organizations.
Executives identified the top three benefits as
strengthening the brand (40 percent); increasing
productivity (39 percent); and attracting new customers
all business leaders (91 percent) are facing major
obstacles when implementing sustainability and ESG
initiatives. The biggest challenges include obtaining
ESG metrics from partners and third parties (35
percent); a lack of data (33 percent); and
time-consuming manual reporting processes (32 percent).
percent of business leaders admit human bias and emotion
often distract from the end goal and 89 percent believe
organizations that use technology to help drive
sustainable business practices will be the ones to
succeed in the long run.
percent of business leaders would trust a bot over a
human to make sustainability and social decisions. They
believe bots are better at collecting different types of
data without error (43 percent); making rational,
unbiased decisions (42 percent); and predicting future
outcomes based on metrics/past performance (41 percent).
leaders believe people are still essential to the
success of sustainability and social initiatives and
believe people are better at implementing changes based
on feedback from stakeholders (48 percent); educating
others on information needed to make decisions (46
percent); and making context-informed strategic
decisions (42 percent).
People will cut
ties with businesses that don’t take action on
sustainability and social initiatives
need to prioritize sustainability and social issues and
rethink how they use technology to make an impact or risk
facing major consequences.
percent of people want to make progress on
sustainability and social factors to establish healthier
ways of living (50 percent); save the planet for future
generations (49 percent); and help create more equality
around the world (46 percent).
percent of people would be willing to cancel their
relationship with a brand that does not take
sustainability and social initiatives seriously and 69
percent would even leave their current company to work
for a brand that places a greater focus on these
organizations can clearly demonstrate the progress they
are making on environmental and social issues, people
would be more willing to pay a premium for their
products and services (87 percent); invest in them (83
percent); and work for them (83 percent).
leaders understand the importance and urgency. 94
percent believe sustainability and societal metrics
should be used to inform traditional business metrics
and 91 percent want to increase their investment in