Next-Generation Leaders at the Vanguard

Next-generation leaders are a critical cohort in advancing the sustainability agenda. Are India organizations investing enough in their future executives?


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Next-generation leaders are powering sustainability activities in India. Our research shows 70% of domestic next-generation leaders have carried out three or more role responsibilities in the past two years to improve social and environmental outcomes, well ahead of their APAC neighbors (49%) and global counterparts (40%).

Next-generation leaders who have taken on 3+ job responsibilities to improve environmental and social outcomes

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Notably, these up-and-coming executives are gaining important insight into how to drive sustainability across strategy and operations. When asked about the specific roles in which they were involved, 47% said changing internal processes to improve environmental or social outcomes. A further 46% have identified new approaches to make products or their workplace more sustainable, while 45% have re-designed products or services to reduce their environmental impact or to improve their social impact.

In the past two years have your job responsibilities included any of the following ways to improve environmental and social outcomes?

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Looking ahead, this data indicates that next-generation leaders in India will likely ascend the C-suite with significantly more sustainability experience than their global peers. As the rest of the world wakes up to the potential of sustainable business over the next decade and beyond, it is likely that India will become a significant pool of sustainable leadership talent for organizations across the globe. To realize this opportunity, C-suite leaders must continue to invest heavily in their bench of future executives.

Given the scale of environmental, social and ecological challenges—both domestically and internationally—this is not a time for complacency. C-suite leaders that continue to expose next-generation leaders to a wider range of crucible sustainability experiences will stand the best chance of safeguarding their organization’s long-term success in a new era of stakeholder capitalism.



Action Items

  • Make sustainability-related responsibilities a core element of next-generation leaders’ roles and put in place measures to enable, empower and reward them for driving sustainability outcomes.

  • Hold C-suite executives and next-generation leaders accountable for sustainability outcomes across day-to-day management practices and hiring and promotion approaches, with 360-degree evaluations that measure both performance and behaviors.



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