Deloitte

For many CEOs around the globe, environmental sustainability will be a top priority for their business in 2021, as they continue dealing with many of the challenges they’ve faced throughout 2020.

In Deloitte’s Global Fourth Annual readiness report , which explored organisational resilience in the wake of a chaotic 2020, CEOs from all over the world shared how their organisations coped with the challenges, the results of which were analysed to identify traits that define resilient organisations and therefore traits business leaders can adopt to strengthen their own business.

As reported on Forbes.com, more than 6 in 10 global CEOs believe the disruptions experienced in 2020 will continue this year and beyond, but one societal issue emerged as a top concern among most of the business leaders surveyed in the report.

Three-quarters of the respondents cite climate change a top concern, seeing it as a problem of a similar scale to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global deputy CEO and chief people and purpose officer, said climate change is every bit the global challenge the pandemic has been and ultimately could affect billions of people, rather than millions.

“But unlike the pandemic, there’s no vaccine that can be created in a matter of months that promises to make the problem go away,” she continued, adding that the issue should be seen as pressing because “business requires a healthy, functioning society for it to succeed.”

In the more immediate future, the deputy CEO believes that there are other reasons for businesses to implement sustainable practices. “Younger employees prefer to work for socially responsible organisations, green technologies are a tremendous growth area, and many clients and vendors prefer to work with organisations that care about the planet,” she said. “Protecting the environment isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s smart business.”

The report also singles out the top actions organisations have taken or are implementing to promote environmental sustainability in their business, including training employees to be environmentally sustainable, designing more sustainable products or services and drafting a plan to reduce employee air travel even after the pandemic is over.

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