Societal impact

When it comes to societal issues, execs are most focused on resource scarcity as well as climate change and environmental sustainability.

“At Adobe, we’ve set a goal to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. We’re expanding our global headquarters in San Jose, and the new building is going to be totally running on clean, renewable energy.”

Sarah Kennedy, VP of global marketing, Adobe Digital Experience

When asked why their companies choose to focus on societal issues, 42 percent of CXOs cited the opportunity to generate revenue, which suggests that profit and revenue continue to drive organizations’ strategies and motivations. However, it’s important to point out that a close second was motivation from external stakeholders (customers, investors, etc.), and third was employee pressure.

“The companies that will excel long-term are the ones that know it’s not just about shareholder value. It’s also about focusing on the customer and employee experience, and how those, in turn, contribute to society. How you fuel this whole ecosystem is critical to success across all industries."

Sarah Kennedy, VP of global marketing, Adobe Digital Experience

Issues that seem to have skyrocketed in importance for executives are climate change and environmental sustainability. Two years ago, only 10 percent of CXOs said their companies could influence environmental sustainability to a significant degree. This year, 48 percent see tackling climate change as a top responsibility; 38 percent put encouraging sustainability at the same priority level.

“It is no longer just about earnings—it’s also about what kind of planet we are leaving behind. Business and climate go hand in hand.”

Jeff Gravenhorst, CEO, ISS

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