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2022 Deloitte CxO Sustainability Report

CxOs’ apprehensions about the planet’s climate have increased over the last several months, as has their optimism that immediate action can make a difference. But there are multiple disconnects between these business leaders’ opinions and motivations, the actions their organisations are taking, and the impact they’re having.

Business leaders have a unique responsibility to help the world transition to a lower-carbon future. Are they up to the challenge?

During September and October 2021, Deloitte polled over 2,000 C-suite executives across 21 countries to examine business leaders’ and companies’ concerns and actions when it comes to climate change and environmental sustainability.

Climate weighs heavily on the minds of the world’s executives. However, there is also a disconnect between ambition and impact. Organisations are struggling to implement actions that demonstrate they have embedded climate considerations into their culture and have the senior leader buy-in and influence to effect meaningful transformation.

The report further explores the disconnect between ambition and impact as well as steps CxOs can take to start to bridge the gap.

Almost 79% of executives see the world at a tipping point for responding to climate change compared to just 59% eight months prior. Despite the gravity of the moment, there is a prevailing sense of optimism as 88% (compared to 63% eight months prior) agree that with immediate action, we can limit the worst impacts of climate change.
CxOs are feeling pressure to act. Almost all respondents (97%) indicate that their companies have already been negatively impacted by climate change. Additionally, stakeholder groups—including regulators, shareholders, consumers, and employees—are all adding to the pressure to act.

Which of the following actions/adaptations has your company already undertaken as part of its sustainability efforts?

While companies are acting, they are less likely to implement actions that demonstrate they have embedded climate considerations into their culture and have the senior leader buy-in and influence to effect meaningful transformation.
The survey revealed a group of leading organisations—19% of the sample—who have implemented at least four of five “needle-moving” sustainability actions, as well as lagging organisations (those who have implemented one or none of these actions). Climate-leading organisations pursue the future with purpose. They are more concerned, more active, and more likely to see the benefits of their climate strategies.
Leaders see greater benefits to their climate strategies

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