Executives are acting on climate change initiatives because their customers expect it. And because they believe they can make money, save money and manage risk.
Earlier this year, Ernst & Young commissioned an independent research organization to survey 300 global executives across 16 countries and 18 industries.
We wanted to get 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.
Respondents spoke candidly about their strategies and priorities, as well as the implementation challenges within their complex organizations, many of which are multinationals with multiple business units.
We heard that many executives have already begun the process of transforming their organizations in response to multiple market drivers. They have set aside regulatory uncertainty, and instead have taken their cues from the market.
Executives are acting on climate change initiatives because their customers expect it and because they believe they can make money, save money and manage risk. They understand that transforming their key processes makes good business sense.
Rather than stand on the sidelines waiting for clarity, they are seizing the opportunity to serve their markets and to create long-term competitive value.
While the responses indicate some variations across industry sectors and geographies, our survey reveals five consistent global themes:
- Executive leadership is critical to good governance
- Business drivers are dominated by top line and bottom-line impacts, creating a race to innovate
- Despite regulatory uncertainty, climate change investment is on the rise
- Execution is challenging but executives are committed to action
- Transparent reporting is gaining momentum