CEOs are facing a huge global challenge, no denying. The UN Global Compact’s 12th CEO Survey in partnership with Accenture shows that the majority of leaders are facing ten or more simultaneous challenges in their business and 87% of them believe that the current level of change is so high that it will impact the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The study gathers the sustainability perceptions of more than 2,600 CEOs from 128 countries and 18 industries. Increasingly concerned about abrupt change, 98% of leaders agree that sustainability is a top issue in their job, a feeling that has grown 15% compared to the last 10 years of the study.
However, some CEOs continue to be very successful in their impact actions and show success in delivering value and competitive advantage in their markets. They are reshaping the future of sustainable development through innovation and collaboration. Two-thirds of executives (66%) point out that their companies are engaged in long-term strategic partnerships and building resilience.
In the interviews, CEOs identified the following as key initiatives to build corporate resilience:
- Setting climate objectives with science-based targets
- Investing in workforce diversity
- Partnering with other industries for technological solutions
- Increasing supply chain visibility
- Protecting greater biodiversity
In addition, they continue to call for policy changes from governments to prioritize measurable long-term goals, standardize work on ESG, a global carbon market, and incentivize sustainable business models.
Source: United Nations