UK businesses could generate GBP100bn (US$151.5bn) in annual productivity gains generated by innovations designed to address environmental and social challenges, a new report has revealed.

The Fortune Favours the Brave report, by Accenture, Business in the Community and Marks & Spencer, argues that companies must go beyond conventional corporate and social responsibility programmes and, instead, place sustainability at the heart of business strategies and operations to unlock the full commercial potential and sustainability benefits.

The report suggests that scaling innovation in five categories - resource efficiency, the circular economy, new consumption models, shared value approaches and transparency and customer engagement - can improve competitiveness, grow revenues and better address changing customer needs.

"As customer values and expectations evolve, sustainable products need to be made more desirable to engage with customers and to develop a self-sustaining, circular economy," said M&S CEO Marc Bolland.

"Everybody wants a racing car, but even a racing car can be fuel efficient. We need to make sustainability desirable, appealing and relevant, and by responding to customer wants, UK business will have more impact."

The report said companies can generate annual savings of up to GBP61m by scaling resource efficiency and energy efficiency initiatives and through the use of cleaner technologies, according to Accenture analysis based on data published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

The UK consumer goods industry could save GBP15-18bn annually by closing the loop on supply chains, extending asset life, promoting re-use and designing products for disassembly, according to analysis for the report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Accenture estimates that circular economy approaches can achieve a 50 -90% reduction in a product's environmental footprint.

Meanwhile, social media and other technologies are creating new ways of using goods and services and altering business models, including by extending the pay-as-you-live and sharing economy and enabling consumers to live more asset-light lives. This market involves consumers collaborating with each other to re-use, share, swap or barter goods and services.

Technologies that improve traceability and customer engagement regarding product origins can boost trust and loyalty, according to Accenture, which estimates that the UK manufacturing sector could also generate cost savings of GBP3bn per year.