In numbers: Are CEOs preparing to build sustainable, resilient businesses?

PwC’s latest Annual Global CEO Survey has shed light on how business leaders want to implement long-term transformation plans with environmental risks and opportunities in mind, but are often hampered by the demands of short-termism. Here, we pull out the key findings on environmental sustainability.

In numbers: Are CEOs preparing to build sustainable, resilient businesses?

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual summit in Davos is now underway for another year and, as always, the week is shaping up to be a busy one in terms of publications of new research into how businesses are navigating global crises. The current energy and cost-of-living crises are weighing heavy on hearts and minds, as is the need to address the knock-on impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. But there is also a focus on how, in this context, resilience can be built in for the future as risks relating to the climate and nature crisis continue to crystallise.

A highlight in the January calendar for any chief executive is the publication of PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey. This piece of research polls thousands of chief executives across the world, representing businesses of a variety of sizes and sectors. The 2023 edition went live on Monday evening (16 January), revealing that while many business leaders know their firm will not be financially viable within a decade without transformation, most feel unable to dedicate enough time to business reinvention.

Much mainstream media coverage of the Survey is focusing on the shared economic outlook of the 4,410 chief executives polled. The headline findings are that three-quarters are expecting a decline in global economic growth this year, but most (60%) are not planning to reduce headcount and an even greater proportion (80%) are not planning to reduce payment packages for staff.

But there are also some eye-opening findings on planning for climate risks; realizing the opportunities of low-carbon innovation and forging partnerships for sustainable development.

It bears noting that many of these findings stand in contrast to those uncovered by Deloitte in its own survey of more than 2,000 C-suite leaders. Namely, Deloitte’s survey revealed a great willingness to work on long-term environmental sustainability despite immediate challenges. Read our full coverage of Deloitte’s work here.

Here, edie pulls out the key facts and stats from the PwC Survey relating to environmentally sustainable business.

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