Businesses focus on short-term sustainability goals, Carbon Trust report finds

According to a new report by the Carbon Trust, over three-quarters of global business leaders recognise the bottom line risks from the direct impacts of climate change, but many businesses fail to have a clear vision on how to adapt considering sustainability changes.

Titans or Titanics? Understanding the business response to climate change and resource scarcity seeks to understand and explain how large businesses are responding to climate change and resource scarcity today, incorporating insights from qualitative interviews with industry experts, alongside independent market research into the views of global corporate leaders. It also details the Carbon Trust’s practical framework for assessing and quantifying the long term opportunity and risks related to climate change and resource scarcity.

Greenhouse gas.emissions

The paper argues that businesses are “living in two realities”, recognising and accepting the risks and opportunities of an environmentally sustainable future but continuing to focus on the short-term. While the businesses involved in the research believe change will continue, most have no clear vision of how they will transition.

Main findings of the report include:
70 per cent of global business leaders confident that action taken by consumers, governments, and investors will force the change to an environmentally sustainable future.

76 per cent see bottom line risks from direct impacts of climate change, and 84 per cent see business opportunity in an environmentally sustainable future.

Half believe they would have to fundamentally change products, services, or business models if drivers for environmental sustainability become strong.

Of those that claim to be aware of how they compare with competitors on environmental sustainability, 99 percent believe they are at least average for their sector, with half seeing themselves as leaders.

08 Jun 15 | Author Leighann Morris |