Report: Investing in digital and sustainability could create 5.7 million jobs across Europe by 2030

Top industries for net job creation include industrial equipment

The “Europe’s new dawn: Reinventing industry for future competitiveness” report from Accenture conducted in collaboration with BusinessEurope outlines how corporates are approaching post-pandemic growth.

According to the report, which includes a survey conducted with 700 C-level executives across Europe, 88% of companies are planning to increase investments into digital processes and sustainability practices this year. In comparison, 58% focused investments on these areas in 2020.

Accenture notes that widescale investment into the areas of digital and sustainability could add 5.7 million new jobs to the European corporate market by 2030. Top industries for net job creation include industrial equipment, high tech, software, utilities, automotive, life sciences, and communications/media.

Accenture’s chief executive Jean-Marc Ollagnier said: “Although the comparatively slow vaccine rollout in Europe may be tempering businesses’ hopes of a speedy recovery, the region’s leading position on sustainability — coupled with investment in the most-promising technologies — could increase its competitiveness and open up millions of new jobs across the region in the long term.”

White swan moment

The coronavirus pandemic caused a net loss of 3.5 million jobs in Europe last year, with the job market expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

According to the report, European businesses are expecting a recovery from the impacts of the pandemic to take at least six months longer than Asia-Pacific and North American counterparts.

The coronavirus pandemic is acting as a “white swan” moment that is accelerating corporate focus on long-term sustainability strategies, but better disclosure and communication is needed for investors to unlock new finance to spur the green transition.

That is one of the major takeaways of a new global survey commissioned by banking giant ING. The survey consists of 450 corporate respondents and 100 institutional investors and examined attitudes towards long-term sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG).

The survey found that Covid-19 was acting as a white swan that had accelerated how committed corporates were to the green agenda. In total, 57% of the companies surveyed confirmed plans to accelerate new sustainability plans, while 62% were planning on linking executive pay to environmental targets this year. Currently, less than 10% of the surveyed companies have linked executive compensation to ESG targets.

Matt Mace

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