Climate change is part of business strategy
Two years ago 31% of global leaders believed that climate change would soon be the focus of public policy and its future. Since then, according to a recent McKinsey survey, this percentage is now more than 50%. This growing awareness is a consequence of the increasingly intense debate about the business and related risks of global warming. Today, 60% of the world's business leaders surveyed believe the issue is important enough to influence their own corporate strategy. According to Global Agenda.org, another McKinsey study shows companies are reacting to a change in consumer awareness. This confirmed an ever-clearer trend: For consumers, the issue of environment and climate change is no longer just a question of how much confidence they have in a company but determines whether they buy their products or not.
A recent worldwide survey of 7751 consumers that focused on the oil, food, and beverages, retail and high-tech industry found that consumers tended to trust some sectors more than others. The difference was determined by the company’s social responsibilities. Climate change appears to be playing an increasingly important role in influencing personal choices and buying decisions. About 50% of all respondents stated that they would appreciate companies in the oil sector making strategic investments in renewable and alternative energy sources. With a quarter even being prepared to pay more for clean energy products. There are also striking differences between various regions. While the oil industry in the U.S. and Europe suffers from a negative image, 70 – 90% of respondents in Brazil, Hong Kong and India stated a more positive view.
The high-tech industry enjoyed the highest levels of trust with 75% in France to 96% in India nominating the sector. But even here, the respondents were clear that their willingness to purchase would increase if the organization showed increased social responsibility. Topping the wishlist of Chinese and German consumers was for business to take resolute action to reduce energy consumption. In the United States, however, a seventh of all respondents placed the same level of importance on energy reduction. Ironically, if strategically managed, all business leaders agreed that climate change would also bring opportunities. Whilst 70% of respondents felt that strategic dialogue so far had little or no future.
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This article was published in the Freelancing.HK-News 53.