Sustainability and Competitiveness in Mexico Dennis J. Aigner University of California, Irvine and EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Antonio Lloret Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México January 2013 ABSTRACT This paper summarizes the findings of a research project aimed at benchmarking the environmental sustainability practices of the top 500 Mexican companies. This was done by surveying firms with regard to various aspects of their adoption of environmental sustainability practices, including who or what prompted adoption, future adoption plans, decision-making responsibility, and internal/external challenges. The survey also explored how the adoption of environmental sustainability practices relates to the competitiveness of these firms. The sample consisted of 103 self-selectedfirms representing the six primary business sectors in the Mexican economy. Because the Manufacturing sector is significantly overrepresented in the sample and because of its importance in addressing issues of environmental sustainability, when appropriate, specific results for this sector are reported and contrasted to the overall sample. Our results suggest that Mexican companies are very active in the various areas of business where environmental sustainability is relevant. Not surprisingly, however, the Mexican companies are seen to be at an early stage of development along the sustainability “learning curve”. The vast majority of these firms see adopting environmental sustainability practices as being profitable and think this will be even more important in the future. BIOGRAPHYDennis J. Aigner is Emeritus Professor of Management & Economics in the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). From 2000-05, he was Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1988-97 he was Dean of the Graduate School of Management at UCI. Before that, he was Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. He received his BS and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and holds an MA in Applied Statistics from that same institution. He was on the teaching faculties at the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin-Madison prior to his appointment at USC in 1976. Aigner’s publication record includes several books and numerous articles on statistical and econometric methodology, and applied economics. He was founding editor of the Journal of Econometrics and one of its co-editors for 20 years. His research interests include corporate environmental management, international trade, and state and local economic issues. Aigner’s current research focuses on empirical and theoretical work relating to the linkage between corporate environmental performance and financial performance. For several years he organized a research workshop on behalf of the EPA on “Capital Markets and Environmental Performance” that explored the topic with academic researchers, practitioners, and members of the corporate sector. From 2003-09 he served as a member of the National Advisory Committee to the U.S. EPA Administrator on the environmental aspects of NAFTA. Most recently, he completed a survey of the top 400 Mexican firms with regard to their sustainability practices, funded by a UC-MEXUS grant. He presently holds the position of Distinguished Visiting Professor at the EGADE Business School of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico.