The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys

Project Overview

The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys offer a unique, collaborative platform that uses research-driven insights, including targeted surveys of the most influential thought leaders in the sustainability arena from over sixty countries, to explore the biggest sustainability challenges.

The thousands of stakeholders surveyed include leading sustainable development experts and practitioners from five sectors:

  • Corporate
  • Government (including multi-lateral institutions)
  • NGOs
  • Institutional (e.g., academics)
  • Service (e.g., consultants, media)

The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys help clients:

  • Navigate the increasingly complex business landscape of sustainability challenges and opportunities
  • Understand the perspectives of influential experts in the sustainability field
  • Tap into a pool of expertise for views and predictions on top sustainability issues
  • Monitor and anticipate major changes in public policy and business climate affecting their operating environments

Stakeholder Insight

When you engage GlobeScan and SustainAbility to prepare a workshop for your organisation, our consultants will work with you to customise the research-driven insights emerging from the program to deliver forward-looking strategic counsel. We will explore the sustainability challenges facing your sector and your business, and integrate learning from GlobeScan’s and SustainAbility’s regular work on sustainability strategy.

Thematic Areas

The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys are in field around six times each year, and provide a regularly updated expert perspective on a range of timely topics, including:

  • Climate Change and Energy
  • Human Rights
  • Changing Expectations of Business in Sustainability
  • Resource Constraints, Water, Oil, Land
  • Innovation and Social Enterprise
  • Ecosystem Health and Services
  • Globalization
  • International Development
  • Sustainable Technologies
  • Governance
  • Corporate Leadership


The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Surveys are in field around six times each year, and provide a regularly updated expert perspective on a range of timely topics.

You can download all the latest surveys from our project library.

Leadership on Climate Change: COP21 & Beyond
We asked global experts representing business, government, NGOs and academia to share their expectations for the COP21 meeting and provide insights about the role of various actors and climate strategies post-2015.

See Change Survey: How Transparency Drives Performance
The latest GlobeScan / SustainAbility survey reveals that corporate transparency brings even more value to companies than the usual stakeholder engagement and enhanced reputation that sustainability experts often point to.

The 2014 Sustainability Leaders
Now in its 20th year, The Sustainability Leaders is the longest-running opinion poll of its kind. In our latest survey, we asked the experts which sectors of society and which companies are most effectively advancing the sustainability agenda.

The 2013 Ratings Survey: Polling the Experts
In this survey we provide perspectives from experts that can help companies, investors and other stakeholders make sense of and get more value from ratings.

The 2013 Issues Survey: Challenges, Performance and Accountability
Our latest issues survey asks experts to consider which issues are most urgent, how industries are responding, and who is most accountable.

The 2013 Sustainability Leaders
The latest Sustainability Leaders survey asks experts which sectors of society and which companies are most effectively advancing the sustainability agenda.

Collaborating for a Sustainable Future
The first instalment of an upcoming research program on collaboration this survey aims to explore its renewed hope, future prospects and potential pitfalls.

Rate the Raters
Polling the Experts 2012

The first of four deliverables from Rate the Raters, Phase Five this survey uncovers how sustainability experts view and use corporate sustainability ratings.

Climate Change Policy Options:
Beyond Kyoto

Real action on the cost of emissions is an essential part of long-term strategy post Kyoto according to this survey on what it will take to make real progress on getting carbon reductions down to a safe level.

The 2012 Sustainability Leaders
In The 2012 Sustainability Leaders we asked experts which sectors of society and which companies are most effectively advancing the sustainability agenda.

The Sustainability Survey

These surveys were previously produced under the name The Sustainability Survey and are also available to download in our project library.

Survey on Activism
The role that activism plays in advancing the sustainability agenda.

Survey on Sustainable Consumption
Are we making adequate progress toward the goal of sustainable consumption? And, is it possible to achieve it in the context of continued economic growth?

Survey on Key Challenges and Industry Performance
What are the most urgent challenges facing society today? And which of 17 industry sectors are doing the most effective job of managing the most urgent challenges?

The Future of Energy
How governments will proceed, how experts perceive nuclear and what role energy will play in corporate sustainability strategies in the wake of Fukushima Daiichi.


Some of the main findings and insights from the program are shared with sustainability professionals via a series of free webinars each year, where GlobeScan, SustainAbility and invited expert guests present and contextualise the key emerging trends and explore case studies.

Latest Webinar

On November 12 @ 8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT we’re hosting a webinar to discuss the results from the latest edition of The GlobeScan / SustainAbility Survey, Leadership on Climate Change: COP21 & Beyond.

Produced and presented in partnership with the Climate Group, this report analyzes the viewpoints of over 600 global sustainability experts on a range of questions including:

  • How confident are the experts that the COP21 meeting will result in a binding international agreement?
  • Which institutions have made the largest contribution to advance solutions on climate change in recent years? What will be the private sector’s role in the implementation of the post-Paris framework?
  • Which companies have gained the widest recognition for their leadership on climate change? What are the factors and corporate strategies driving their perceived leadership?

Join us for a presentation of survey findings and a lively discussion with Mark Lee (Executive Director, SustainAbility), Chris Coulter (co-CEO, GlobeScan), Ben Ferrari (Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group) and Ann Condon (Director of Resource and Environmental Strategies, GE Global Operations).

Space is limited, so please register today.

Email Share

Project Contact

  • Executive Director

    Contact Mark

Project Library

More from our library

From the Blog

More from our blog


You must have an account with us to gain unlimited access to our ever-growing library of research reports, issue briefings and members-only presentations on the latest sustainability challenges and opportunities for business.

Join now