Last week, I wrote about PwC’s new CEO Survey, the results of which can be summarized this way:
“Although the 4,702 CEOs responding to this year’s survey were more optimistic about global economic growth than last year, 45% of them are still not confident that their companies would survive more than a decade on their current path.”
Here are a few more excerpts about CEO views on climate – one of the headline risks in the report:
“CEOs report mixed success at meeting their stated [climate] objectives. Roughly two-thirds have efforts underway to improve energy efficiency; another 10% report completing such initiatives; and about half say they have work in progress to innovate climate-friendly products and services.
… fewer than half of all respondents have incorporated climate risk into financial planning – and nearly one-third have no plans to do so.
Nearly one-third expect climate change to alter the way they create, deliver and capture value over the next three years – compared to less than one-quarter, who said as much regarding the past five years.”
On one hand, it is hard to reconcile that many of the same CEOs who concluded their companies would not survive more than a decade on their current path are also lagging in adequately incorporating climate into their business plans. On the other hand, it seems to support the idea that many CEOs don’t expect to be around all that long, are willing to focus on short term gains (corporate and personal) and kick the can down the road for someone else to deal with.
CSOs, in-house ESG/sustainability teams and outside counsel/advisors must understand the real mindset of their company or client CEOs – and those CEOs must have the courage to be candid with their ESG teams. Where differences exist, ESG staff and advisors must find new ways of demonstrating value and relevance. Otherwise, expectations will differ within the company, effort and money will be wasted and the company will be at risk.
If you aren’t already subscribed to our complimentary ESG blog, sign up here: https://practicalesg.com/subscribe/ for daily updates delivered right to you.