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From Ambition to Impact: How Business Leaders Can Accelerate the Green Transformation

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According to Deloitte’s latest survey, climate change is a priority for business leaders. 75% of them said their organization had increased its investment in sustainability over the past year, despite economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

If there were still doubts that climate change was firmly on the corporate agenda, 2022 should have dispelled them. Around the world, we have seen an increasing number of weather events affecting people, businesses and economies. At the same time, we have seen increasing business align on the need to address climate change and share a responsible path towards a low carbon economy. According to the Deloitte 2023 CxO Sustainability Report, while CXOs have faced a number of challenges over the past year, including economic uncertainty, geopolitical conflicts, supply chain disruptions and talent shortages, climate change concerns remain a top priority for their organizations. And they are taking steps to fix it.

As part of a Deloitte survey of more than 2,000 business leaders in 24 countriesAlmost all respondents indicated that their companies had been affected in some way by climate change in the past year. more than 80% of business leaders said they have I was personally affectedAnd 62% They said they were worried about Climate change all the time or most of the time. Many business leaders see climate change as one Three major problems, ahead of seven others, including innovation, talent competition, and supply chain challenges. In fact, only the economic outlook is slightly better.

The optimism persisted despite growing concerns about the climate impact

In line with the conversations we’ve had with business leaders, the vast majority of Administration managers (78% of respondents) remain optimistic that the world will take sufficient action to achieve this Avoid the worst effects of climate change. They also share a sense of urgency. The good news is that while we anticipate an uncertain economic cycle in the coming year, C-suite executives remain committed to investing in sustainability and climate change initiatives.

Many business leaders61%) mentioned that Climate change It will have an effect high / very high On strategy and operations who are they organisation over the next three years. In addition, 75% said that organisation king Increasing its investments in sustainability throughout last year. It is also widely recognized that finding solutions will require collaboration across the entire ecosystem of private, public and not-for-profit organisations.

According to a Deloitte survey, organizations feel pressure to act from all stakeholder groups, including the board, management, customers, and employees. More than half of business leaders said that employee activism on climate issues led their organization to increase sustainability actions in the past year. Regulations also have an effect 65% Business leaders mentioned that the evolving regulatory environment has led their organization to strengthen its climate action.

Climate action continues, but challenges remain

Organizations take action: 59% use more sustainable materialsAnd 59% Increase their energy efficiencyAnd 50% train their employees on climate change and 49% develop new, climate-friendly products or services. They are also stepping up their climate adaptation efforts: 43% Updating or moving their facilities to make it more resistant to climate change, 40% take insurance against severe climatic hazards and 36% progress a financial assistance Employees affected by severe weather conditions.

However, as we saw in last year’s report, while organizations take action, discrepancies and gaps remain. for example, 21% of business leaders indicating that their organization does not intend to tie executive compensation to environmental sustainability performance, and 30% They say they have no intention of pressuring the government for climate initiatives.

Moreover, when asked what they think about how serious certain groups are about fighting climate change, they only say so 29% Business leaders responded that they think the private sector is “very” serious. And lonely 46% They say that ensuring a “fair transition” is “extremely important” to their organization, and the realization of this importance varies greatly between regions and countries.

Recommendations for accelerating the green transition

Deloitte’s 2023 survey shows that business leaders believe their organizations and the global economy can continue to grow while meeting climate goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, a gap remains between actions and impacts, as organizations are slower to implement “critical” actions that include sustainability at the core of their strategies, processes and cultures.

How can business leaders help bridge the gap between ambition and impact, overcome barriers to greater action, and begin to balance the short-term costs of climate initiatives with the long-term benefits?

The Deloitte report makes several recommendations to help senior executives get started, including making climate goals part of the company’s overall strategy and purpose, building trust with credible climate action, empowering the board, encouraging stakeholder action, and investing in today’s technologies. (and the future), and collaboration to drive systems-level change.

Business leaders have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reorient the global economy toward more resilient, long-term prosperity. It is promising to see C-suite executives make sustainability a priority and increase their investment to help lead the way. Together we can build vibrant and sustainable economies for the future.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Authors: Joseph B. Okuzoglou and Jane Steinman (BrandVoice: Deloitte)

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