CxO Sustainability report

Article

Deloitte's 2022 CxO Sustainability report

The disconnect between ambition and impact 

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 organizations are taking, and the impact they’re having.

The disconnect between ambition and impact

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. Organizations 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.

The world is at a tipping point

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.

A Dutch perspective
83% of Netherlands executives today see the world at a tipping point for responding to climate change (slightly higher than the global average). Furthermore, 93% agree that with immediate action, we can limit the worst impacts of climate change.

The survey revealed a group of leading organizations—comprised of 19% of global CxOs—who have implemented at least 4 out of 5 of the “needle-moving” sustainability actions. In the Netherlands, 27% of respondents are climate leaders.

On the other hand, those organizations who had only implemented one or zero of these leadership actions—35% of the global and 24% of Netherlands organizations–have catching up to do.

The benefits of being a climate leader rather than a lagging organization are clear, and they are evident in nearly every part of our survey. Discover more by downloading the Dutch results via the download button above. 

Sustainability actions

  • Developing new, climate-friendly products or services
  • Requiring suppliers and business partners to meet specific sustainability criteria
  • Updating or relocating facilities to make them more resistant to climate impacts
  • Incorporating climate considerations into lobbying and political donations
  • Tying senior leader compensation to sustainability performance

A decisive decade to act

Bold actions resulting in measurable impact are needed to accelerate the pace of intervention while there’s still time to limit the damage. As Deloitte Global CEO mentioned "The battle against climate change isn’t a choice, it’s billions of choices. No action is insignificant, but certain activities and decisions “move the needle” more than others. Those bolder actions from business leaders are needed now—while there’s still time to limit the damage".

Further insights on responsible business

In our podcast series on responsible business, you can listen to business leaders discuss their challenges and experiences in becoming more responsible businesses, towards an outcome that is better for all stakeholders, better for long term shareholder value and better for society as a whole.

 The shift to a purpose-led strategy
In the 36th episode of the podcast series, Rob Wainwright, Deloitte Partner, and former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman talk about why the moment is now for business to shift to a purpose-led strategy.

Did you find this useful?