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Indian companies prioritise climate change; have increased investments

Deloitte’s CXO Sustainability Survey 2023

Mumbai, 17 January 2023 —Indian CxOs have ranked ‘climate change’ as a significantly higher priority, ahead of ‘economic outlook’, as compared to global executives, with 57% calling it a “top three priority” compared to 42% of global CxOs, finds Deloitte’s 2023 CxO Sustainability Report. Moreover, 81% of Indian CxOs said they have increased sustainability investments from last year, with 27% saying that investments have risen ‘significantly’. This increase in investments could be attributed to the fact that 53% of Indian CxOs surveyed believe that climate change is likely to impact their companies’ strategies and operations to a “high/very high” degree over the next three years.

The report further highlighted that 60% of Indian CxOs rated a “just transition” to be extremely important to their organisation’s sustainability efforts, as compared to 46% of global executives. A just transition seeks to ensure that substantial benefits of transitioning to a green economy are shared widely, while also supporting those who stand to lose economically—whether countries, regions, industries, communities, workers, or consumers.

Deloitte built upon its past research by surveying more than 2,000 CxOs across 24 countries to gauge concerns and actions from business leaders on climate change and sustainability.

“Despite the geopolitical and economic uncertainties, India Inc. is prioritising climate change and increasing investments towards sustainability. It’s promising to see that businesses in India understand the significance of a ‘just transition’ in protecting those who are most vulnerable to both climate change and job disruption. Having the right strategy to ensure a just transition would be critical going forward,” Viral Thakker, Partner and Sustainability Leader, Deloitte India.

When it comes to stakeholders’ expectations on climate change, Indian organisations are feeling a moderate to high degree of pressure to act on climate change across various stakeholder groups. Compared to the global average, Indian CxOs are likely to report feeling more stakeholder pressure to act from board members (78%), the government (72%) and shareholders (71%). The CxOs further added that the changing regulatory environment and employee activism have increased their organisations’ sustainability actions over the past year.

As far as climate actions are concerned, Indian CxOs are more likely to be focussed on increasing the efficiency of energy use, using more sustainable materials, using more energy-efficient equipment, training employees, and making operations/supply chains more climate-resilient, in comparison with their global peers. In line with global sentiments, Indian CxOs see brand reputation, addressing climate change, and innovation around offerings and operations as the top benefits of their current sustainability efforts.

However, they are less likely than the global average to be undertaking some “needle-moving” actions defined by Deloitte’s analysis, including requiring suppliers to meet sustainability criteria, tying leader compensation to climate goals, and incorporating climate considerations into lobbying.

India Inc. highlighted insufficient supply of sustainable or low-emissions inputs, lack of talent and expertise, costs, and difficulty measuring environmental impact as top barriers obstructing more climate action.

Recommendations to accelerate the green transition

Deloitte’s 2023 survey shows that CxOs do believe that both, their organisation and the global economy, can continue to grow while reaching climate goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So, how can they help close the gap between ambition and impact, break through barriers to greater action, and start to balance the near-term costs of climate initiatives with long-term benefits?

Deloitte’s report offers several recommendations to help CxOs get started, including embedding climate goals into their business’s overall strategy and purpose, building trust by taking credible climate actions, empowering the board, encouraging stakeholder action, investing in today’s (and tomorrow’s) technologies, and collaborating to drive systems-level change.

Notes to the editor for reference purposes only

Deloitte India herein refers to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.
This press release has been issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.

Media contact:

Spriha Jayati
Deloitte India
Tel: +91 9323744249

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