(Toronto, 26 May 2010) Eighty-two percent of Canadian executives believe that a response to climate change is imperative today and plan immediate increases on spending for climate change initiatives, according to the new report Action amid uncertainty: the business response to climate change, based on a survey from EY.
“The willingness of corporations to invest in climate change initiatives despite the uncertain regulatory environment is extremely encouraging,” says Melanie Steiner, Americas Market Leader for EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice. “Corporate leaders understand that there are a range of market drivers, such as evolving customer demands and equity analysts’ growing interest in climate change performance, that are motivating action.”
Steiner notes that more than 90% of executives surveyed globally indicate that climate change governance rests with C-suite executives or board members. This reflects the growing strategic importance of climate change for many organizations who understand that climate change is not just a risk area but also an opportunity to reduce costs, increase revenue and gain competitive advantage.
Canadian participants in the survey agree, with 71% of Canadian respondents indicating that their company already has an enterprise-wide climate change program targeting key business drivers, and another 11% planning for implementation in the next 12 months.
Canadian respondents also compare impressively with their global counterparts; while globally, 70% of those surveyed expect their companies’ spending on climate change initiatives to increase over the next two years, Canadians ranked 12% higher in this regard. And the investment will be significant, with nearly half of Canadian respondents planning to spend between 0.5% to more than 5% of their revenue on climate change initiatives. For a US$1 billion company, this represents an anticipated spend of US$5 million to US$50 million annually. Canadian companies are taking a comprehensive approach, expanding their climate change efforts beyond the enterprise, through their entire supply chain. Forty-three percent of respondents say they are working directly with their suppliers to help them reduce their carbon footprint, while another 29% say they have begun such discussions.
Globally, the survey findings are predominantly consistent in all participating countries, with some additional trends emerging across all countries surveyed:
The report is based on a survey of 300 global corporate executives across 16 countries. EY commissioned the survey to provide a status update on corporate responses to climate change issues in 2010, the half-way point in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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