That’s according to new analysis from PwC, which surveyed 142 CEOs during June and July, asking them how their companies were adapting to climate change less than one hundred days before the UN climate talks in Paris.

As well as those creating new products and services, 54% said they are changing their strategic investments in light of green growth opportunities. Another 58% said their companies are partnering with suppliers and business partners to address climate change risks, while 89% have made energy efficiency improvements and 74% have set recycling targets.

Driving force

Also interesting were the reasons behind these new investments and innovations. Three out of five CEOs said they are acting on climate change to create a reputational advantage, and more than half are motivated by improving shareholder value.

PwC’s sustainability and climate change partner Jon Williams said: “80% of CEOs told us what motivates them personally on climate change is their desire to protect the interests of future generations.

“But look beneath this headline and you see a smaller, emerging group of leading CEOs making the connection with growth, costs, risk and shareholder value.  

“Far more need to be motivated by business as well as moral issues, and make the connection between climate change and financial performance, particularly in the context of an ambitious deal on climate change this year.” 


Only 46% of the CEOs said that a global deal would be a key driver for action in their sector. In contrast, 80% said more public engagement could drive action and 77% said  a clear, consistent and long-term national government policy framework was important.

PwC climate policy specialist Jonathan Grant explained: “It is often hard to make the link between the global climate negotiations and day-to-day business issues – national regulation is often more relevant and immediate.

“CEOs are more focused on the near term and direct issues like regulation and consumer attitudes. Less than half the CEOs see the Paris agreement as a driver for action in their sector, despite its role as a catalyst for national regulation.”

Brad Allen

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