Seven out of 10 CEOs in a global PwC business poll say they would take more ambitious action on issues related to the Millennium Development Goals including issues of energy, water and sustainable development if progress is made at Rio+20.
With the landmark Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in June, PwC examined global threats and challenges to business in driving sustainable development including water, food security, resource scarcity, climate change, equality and social inclusion and affordable energy.
The poll reflects that as issues of energy affordability, water scarcity and climate change move to become strategic business concerns, the gap between sustained and sustainable development could be closed.
CEOs identified affordable energy, equality and social inclusion, sustainable consumption and resource scarcity as the top three concerns related to sustainable development in 2012.
Significantly, across all the issues identified, CEO concerns are intensifying with climate change and food security amongst issues increasing in concern by 2022.
- 87% of CEO respondents say affordable energy is important to their business, increasing to 89% by 2022. The proportion of these for whom it is very important increases significantly, from 39% in 2012 to 60% in 2022.
- Concern is increasing about the role issues of water scarcity (up 13% to 78% by 2022) and climate change (up 10% to 78% by 2022) will play in their business
Malcolm Preston, global lead, sustainability and climate change, PwC said: “Global threats and challenges of sustainability are now clearly on the radar screen for multinational companies.
“Affordable energy, resource scarcity, water stress and climate change are all expected to become bigger, more pressing issues for corporate strategy within the next 10 years, and that is a shorter window than the time frame for most major investments.”