2 minute read 27 January 2023

Climate change is now a key strategic priority for the C-suite

Despite economic pressure and geopolitical tensions, Deloitte’s global survey of C-level leaders shows that executives are increasingly focused on addressing climate change—and their spending priorities reflect it.

Driven by resource constraints, changing consumer demands, and emerging regulatory pressure, climate change is now a top business priority, according to the latest results from Deloitte’s annual survey of more than 2,000 C-level leaders from around the globe representing respondents from a range of major industries. Among those surveyed, 75% said their organizations have increased their investments in corporate sustainability initiatives over the past year.

The research indicates that C-suite respondents are prioritizing climate-related initiatives and investments because their organizations are feeling the effects of climate change: Sixty-one percent of leaders surveyed said climate change would have a “very high/high” impact on their company’s strategy and operations over the next three years. Moreover, respondents report that climate change is having an impact on employees’ health, with 37% of respondents around the world reporting that their employees’ physical health has been affected and 32% reporting impacts on employees’ mental health.

It’s also a personal matter for leaders: Sixty-two percent of surveyed executives said they feel concerned about climate change most or all of the time, and 82% said they have been personally impacted by climate-related events such as extreme heat, water restrictions, powerful storms, and droughts within the past year.

Despite their growing concern, 78% of the leaders surveyed are optimistic that the world will take sufficient steps to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, and 84% believe it’s possible to do so while achieving global economic growth. With the momentum shifting in favor of corporate climate action, the agendas that C-suites are setting today are likely to hold the keys to achieving sustainable growth tomorrow.

For more insights from Deloitte’s annual CxO Sustainability survey read the report here.

Cover image by: Natalie Pfaff

Sustainability & Climate

Together we can make an impact that matters. The decisions we make today can impact the quality of life for the generations to come. A better future is entirely possible, but it will require a profound and lasting change in attitudes and behaviors. And it will depend on sharing knowledge and experience more broadly than ever before. Deloitte helps organizations make progress on their journey toward long-term sustainability and value creation. Together, let’s reimagine the way we work—and build vibrant economies that are sustainable well into the future.

Jennifer Steinmann

Jennifer Steinmann

Global Sustainability leader


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