Sustainability is a major concern for CEOs

Actualidad June 3, 2022

Times are changing, and with them the challenges to overcome. A recently published Gartner survey has shown the top ten issues CEOs are most concerned about in 2022. Among them are some surprises.

Chief among them is sustainability, which has increased dramatically compared to other years. In this Befree blog post we review the important new development.

Context analysis

Gartner research vice president Mark Raskino has commented on several aspects of the survey results. Raskino thinks that in 2022, “CEOs’ perspectives really changed. The pandemic gradually brought to the surface a number of deep societal trends, such as changing ways of working and the fragility of global supply chains”. Besides, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also affected CEOs’ views, such as inflation.

The survey, conducted between July and December 2021 among more than 400 CEOs from different sectors, revenues and company sizes, shows their “ambition for digital business, unhindered by the pandemic and related crises”.

In addition to sustainability, which will be discussed below, other key concerns include inflation itself and talent retention. At the same time, issues such as digitalization and cybersecurity remain at the top of the list.

Sustainability, one of the main concerns of CEOs

For the first time in the history of this Gartner survey, sustainability is a major concern. In this edition, it is in eighth place on the list. This is thus a considerable evolution, as it was 14th in 2019 and 20th in 2015.

“As CEOs feel pressure from key stakeholders to do more on environmental sustainability, they are now addressing the necessary changes,” says Raskino. Some of these changes are geared towards opportunities to drive business efficiency or revenue growth.

The survey results show that around 74% of CEOs think that environmental, social and governance efforts make their companies look more attractive in the eyes of investors. In addition, environmental sustainability itself was the third most important reason given by 80% of CEOs for investing between now and next year. Ahead of only functional performance and overall product quality.

In addition, sustainability also emerges as a competitive differentiator for CEOs in 2022 and 2023. In fact, it is on a par with brand trust among respondents.

On the eve of World Environment Day

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of sustainability and the environment. This coming 5 June marks International Environment Day. Established by the UN in 1974, this day promotes public awareness of environmental issues and encourages cooperation to be sustainable.

This news could not come at a better time. Sustainability is a major concern of hundreds of the world’s top CEOs. This is a qualitative leap of great importance. Moreover, in this blog we have already commented on three emerging sustainable technologies recommended by Gartner itself.

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