There is a “disconnect between ambition and action” when it comes to businesses operating sustainably, Deloitte’s boss has admitted, as greenwashing storms company pledges.
Punit Renjen, global CEO of the Big Four firm, said that while businesses are aware of the impacts of climate change, organisations are struggling to embed climate considerations into the culture of the company.
“We are far enough along in this journey to know that substantive change can only come with bold, collective action,” he wrote in Deloitte’s latest sustainability report.
“No action is insignificant, but certain activities and decisions ‘move the needle’ more than others. Those bolder actions from business leaders are needed now—while there’s still time to limit the damage.”
The report, which surveyed over 2,000 C-suite executives across 21 countries, found that the most common action to take for businesses is to use more sustainable materials, with 67 per cent of those polled opting for recycled or less carbon-heavy materials.
Increasing energy efficiency through buildings was next on the list for 66 per cent of businesses.
‘Needle moving’ actions, which Renjen refers to, include offering climate-friendly products or services, which nearly half of C-suite execs are developing.
While 46 per cent of businesses are beginning to hold their suppliers and business partners to specific sustainability criteria, in a bid to work down the supply chain of emissions.
Leaders who are more concerned about climate change and more likely to turn their commitments into action are better business performers, Renjen added.
“They’re less likely to see expense and near-term priorities as obstacles. In other words, they understand the cost of inaction.
“As a result, they’re seeing a number of benefits, including to their bottom lines, stakeholder satisfaction, and broader performance.”