Sustainable development will steadily advance over the next 10 years, with six major trends influencing industry world-wide, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report, Corporate Responsibility: Strategy, Management and Value.

The challenge of creating strategies that meet immediate needs without sacrificing the needs of future generations will be driven by the growing influence of: global market forces; revisions in corporate governance; high speed innovation; large scale globalisation; evolving societal requirements; and communication, the report says.

“Sustainable businesses balance their economic interests with the need to be socially and environmentally responsible. The companies that succeed over the long term are those that integrate ethical considerations into company decision-making, and manage on the basis of personal integrity and widely-held organisational values,” said Sunny Misser, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global leader of sustainable business solutions.

Of note to CIOs, innovation, particularly in core industries, was seen as a key trend. The report said changing economic conditions will expand the rate of innovation exponentially to include changes in behaviour, product design, supply chains and geopolitical structure, in addition to technology.