Sustainability seen as more of a risk
Climate change and sustainability impacts also rank as the top risk to growth for health care systems, together with changing demographics and permanent changes in the economy, followed closely by increasing geopolitical risks.
Regulatory pressure is the leading driver of sustainability strategy for health care leaders, as organizations in some geographies are under immense pressure to lower their impact on climate change by decreasing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As 93% of health CEOs say ESG issues are top of mind, some are starting to perceive ESG in health care as a core element for long-term value creation, and more than one-third of survey participants have set sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs). ESG scores and metrics are becoming a differentiator for many health care companies surveyed, as they compete in the M&A market.
It should be noted that CEOs in the health care sector rank improving diversity and inclusion as their most important ESG objective, followed by reducing climate change and other environmental impacts. This reflects the growing imperative to improve health equity and outcomes for all populations, as well as the need for more diversity across health care professions. From building professional training programs that enlist diverse candidates to partnering with community organizations to tackle issues of equity, health systems leaders are addressing this need through a variety of approaches.