The recently released MIT Sloan Management Review study showed that while most companies (92%) are addressing sustainability in some way, most companies don't have a clear idea of where to start. Those who do pursue sustainability aggressively, however, are seeing positive effects on their bottom line.

The study also said that sustainability will become increasingly important to business strategy and management over time, and the risks of failing to act decisively are growing.

While 92% of respondents said their company was "addressing sustainability in some way," 70% said they still had not developed a clear business case for it.

At the same time, fewer than 25 percent of survey respondents said their company had decreased its commitment to sustainability during the economic downturn.

The take-away: companies that fully integrate sustainability into their core business processes see greater profitability.