A major new business survey has revealed that sustainability is going to be more important to companies as a direct result of COVID-19, despite extremely challenging market conditions.
According to a newly-published international survey of large businesses, commissioned by the Carbon Trust, over 70 per cent of companies believe environmental management and/or sustainability priorities are likely to become more important for them as a result of the pandemic.
Nearly a third (63 per cent) said their sustainability budgets would get ‘significantly’ or ‘somewhat bigger’.
Sustainability in recovery
The research even shows that those companies that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic still believe sustainability is going to be an increasing priority, despite having to balance this with a difficult recovery process.
Changing customer sentiment was a key driver, with three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents believing that COVID-19 has led to sustainability becoming more important to their customers.
Companies across Germany, France, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and the UK were surveyed as part of the research. Respondents in Germany were the most likely to think sustainability is set to become more important. The most optimistic sectors about the growing importance of sustainability were wholesale and retail, construction, engineering and mining, manufacturing and healthcare.
‘Crisis is elevating the need for action’
Hugh Jones, managing directory, advisory, at the Carbon Trust, explained: “The findings of this research are consistent with what we are seeing in the market. Sustainability is rightly a growing business priority and the increasing demand for our services aimed at helping corporates to decarbonise and adapt for the future demonstrates that, despite extremely challenging market conditions, this is one area that businesses are continuing to prioritise.
“The global health crisis is perhaps elevating the need for action on risk in boardrooms globally, and the climate crisis presents risks that no business can afford to ignore. Organisations around the world are considering their role in delivering a green recovery – achieving net zero targets at the same time as fostering economic activity.’
Posted under General Interest on 28 October 2020