76% of Indian enterprises intend to boost investments in Gen AI to enhance sustainability efforts—moving beyond just “doing sustainability’: IBM Study

Indian enterprises embedding sustainability into their operations are 90% more likely to outperform peers on profitability.
63% of Indian enterprises agree that Gen AI will be important for their sustainability efforts.
44% of executives surveyed cite a lack of requisite skills as the top barrier to sustainability progress.
Mar 26, 2024

Bengaluru, India, March 26, 2024 – A new global study conducted by the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value (IBV) has revealed significant insights into the sustainability strategies of Indian enterprises. According to the study, titled “Beyond checking the box,” by reshaping the operationalization of sustainability, organizations stand to unlock considerable business value. The study emphasizes the importance of businesses embedding sustainability into all facets of their operations, as opposed to treating it as an optional addition.

Organizations in India that embed sustainability are 41% more likely to attribute great improvement in revenue from their sustainability efforts  and are 90% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. The study further found that spending on sustainability reporting exceeds spending on sustainability innovation by 38% in India indicating demand for solutions that facilitate efficient data management and reporting. Embedding sustainability into all operations will bridge intent-impact gap for long-term value creation in business.

“In today's business world, sustainability has evolved from being optional to indispensable. With AI reshaping industries, integrating sustainability into core business practices add to the long-term value creation. The commitment of businesses to invest in Gen AI for sustainability signals a promising move towards a greener, more prosperous future,” stated Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India Private Limited. “This study not only underscores the environmental responsibility of enterprises but also highlights their readiness to leverage cutting-edge technology for lasting impact and competitiveness.”

India Highlights from the study:

Organizations continue to pursue sustainability, but funding, skilling and operationalizing actions remain a challenge.

  • In India, 78% executives surveyed agree that sustainability drives better business results, and 68% agree that sustainability is central to their business strategy. 
  • At the same time, 62% say that sustainability needs to be a higher priority in their organization.
  • 86% of executive respondents agree that high-quality data and transparency are necessary to achieve sustainability outcomes.
  • A lack of requisite skills was identified as the top barrier to sustainability progress by 44% executives.

Leaders in India expect generative AI to help supercharge sustainability efforts.

  • 63% of executives surveyed agree that generative AI will be important for their sustainability efforts.
  • 76% say they plan to increase their investment in generative AI for sustainability.

Organizations that embed sustainability more deeply into their operations see benefits that can convert sustainability efforts into business value.

  • Organizations that embed sustainability spend slightly less on dedicated sustainability efforts as a share of their revenue compared to organizations that don’t embed.
  • At a global level, these organizations are also 191% more likely to have aligned their data and sustainability strategies to a great extent, and 80% more likely to be using AI for sustainability to a great extent.
  • Only 28% of Indian executives surveyed are incorporating sustainability data and insights into operational improvements to a great extent.
  • Almost half (47%) of Indian organizations still struggle to fund sustainability investments.
  • 53% of these organizations globally say that business benefits are essential for justifying sustainability investments; only 17% say meeting sustainability objectives is sufficient to justify investment.

About IBM

IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs, and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Thousands of governments and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's long-standing commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. Visit for more information.

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