CEOs name climate change as top risk to growth

1st October 2019

Istock 519464872

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Energy ,
  • sea ice loss ,
  • Global



Climate change is now the top threat to organisational growth for large companies across the world, an annual survey of CEOs by professional services firm KPMG has found.

The poll of 1,300 CEOs from 11 countries found that 76% believe growth will depend on their ability to navigate the shift to a low-carbon, clean-technology economy.

This is the first time in the survey's five-year history that climate change has ranked top of the list, with technological disruption, cyber security, operational risk and territorialism all deemed a lower risk to growth.

“Climate change has evolved beyond just an environmental issue to a pressing financial one as CEOs are feeling investor and stakeholder pressure to move away from fossil fuels, KPMG US sector leader for energy and natural resources, Regina Mayor, said.

As we continue to consume energy at a record pace, organisations are thinking about ways to incorporate a mix of energy sources, made up of both fossil fuels and renewables.“

The CEOs surveyed came from companies with at least $500m (£407m) in revenue, 130 of which were global energy firms, with these also citing climate change as a top risk to organisational growth.

More than 80% said they are personally leading the technology strategy for their organisations, with 79% placing more capital investment in buying new technologies to improve resilience.

To pursue growth objectives over the next three years, 66% of executives said that they plan to increase investment in disruption detection and innovation processes.

And to ensure their organisations are future-ready, more than three-quarters plan to upskill employees in new digital capabilities to develop a more effective workforce.

However, the findings show that, while 94% of energy CEOs are confident in their business' growth prospects, only 65% feel the same way about the global economy.

Generally we see growth opportunities, especially in the renewables and wind industry, said Markus Tacke, Siemens Gamesa CEO.

While the prognosis of the world economy seems to have greater downside risk than upside, the current fundamental of our energy industry gives us every reason to have an optimistic outlook.“

Image credit: ©iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close