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The big picture: how Chief Sustainability Officers can drive the banking sector’s sustainability efforts

In the escalating impetus to leave a better planet and society for future generations, institutions are increasingly embracing sustainability across the board—and banks are no different.

While some frontrunners already recognized the importance of sustainability decades ago—due to their geographical exposure or deep belief in a new way of business—in the last few years, banks have seen no choice but to engage on sustainability. Whether sustainability veterans or newbies, institutions of the banking sector must up their game to stay ahead of the pack.

External factors like international commitments and regulations have contributed to this mindset shift. Going forward, the surge of sustainability regulations is not expected to recede—instead, it will continue to challenge banks and require their participation to achieve ambitious sustainability objectives.

However, our joint study with the European Banking Federation (EBF), which uncovers prevailing sustainability trends and developments, shows that regulations are not the only driver in the industry. From a company like Deloitte’s viewpoint—where putting the human at the center is a must—economic actors must integrate sustainability into everything they do to remain relevant and impactful.

Central to achieving a more sustainable planet and society is the role change agents play within their organizations, designing and implementing successful strategies while engaging with key stakeholders with purpose, vision and impact. The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is increasingly expected to take on this change agent role, bearing challenges but also a plethora of opportunities.

Fulfilling the commitments and regulations that underpin the European efforts to achieve sustainability will depend on how purposefully, effectively and consistently CSOs can bring about change, and how their environment can adapt to the needs of this increasingly present new role.

> Discover more insights in the full report

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