Carbon Trust's second annual survey on corporate attitudes towards sustainability reveals surge in engagement with climate action
The coronavirus pandemic has spurred a upswing in the emphasis businesses are placing on sustainability, new research commissioned by the Carbon Trust shows, with over 70 per cent of companies expecting environmental management and sustainability initiatives to become more important as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Even those companies hit hard by the pandemic believe sustainability is going to become more important, with 69 per cent of those experiencing significant disruption expecting green issues to rise in importance, the research found.
The insights come from Carbon Trust's second annual 'Corporate attitudes towards sustainability' survey, which was conducted by B2B International and is based on 453 interviews with large companies across Germany, France, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and the UK.
"The findings of this research are consistent with what we are seeing in the market," said Hugh Jones, managing director for advisory at the Carbon Trust. "Sustainability is rightly a growing business priority and the increasing demand for our services aimed at helping corporates to decarbonise and adapt for the future demonstrates that, despite extremely challenging market conditions, this is one area that businesses are continuing to prioritise."
Three quarters of organisations interviewed had been negatively impacted by Covid-19, with four per cent saying it represented an existential threat to their organisation from which they may not be able to recover and a further 32 per cent reporting that their operations had been heavily impaired.
But despite these widespread financial challenges, budgets for sustainability are expected to increase as a result of Covid-19, with 63 per cent of those interviewed saying their green budgets will get 'significantly' or 'somewhat bigger'. Only 16 per cent said budgets would be 'somewhat smaller' next year. Furthermore, compared to 2019, the research notes an increase in the proportion of organisations that have dedicated sustainability professionals, up from 35 per cent in 2019 to 39 per cent this year.
"Organisations around the world are considering their role in delivering a green recovery - achieving net zero targets at the same time as fostering economic", Jones said. "Without corporate commitment a green recovery will be challenging to deliver so the research is great news."
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