Companies are bullish on sustainability despite economic slowdown

sustainability

Sustainability remains a priority for companies with the majority embracing technology solutions alongside process changes.

Sustainability is a key focus of companies worldwide, according to the latest Honeywell 2023 Environmental Sustainability Index that shows an increase in corporate confidence, quarter over quarter, in meeting near and long-term environmental goals with organisations taking a balanced approach to sustainability initiatives.

Honeywell 1Q 2023 Environmental Sustainability Index is a quarterly indicator of key trends pertaining to global efforts in climate change mitigation and other sustainability initiatives. The index provides a comparison of corporate sentiment and progress against environmental sustainability initiatives across sectors on a global basis.

The global study, which surveyed more than 750 business leaders involved in the sustainability process, revealed that nearly 98 per cent of organisations have been at least somewhat or extremely successful in achieving at least one or more sustainability goals over the past 12 months.

When it comes to meeting their goals by 2030, an anchor deadline year for numerous commitments, there is an increased level of optimism quarter over quarter across all sustainability categories including energy efficiency and evolution, emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and circularity/recycling.

“Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions, organisations remain committed to the fight against climate change and their sustainability goals,” said Darius Adamczyk, chairman and CEO of Honeywell. “While data shows an increased sense of optimism towards reaching goals, we know decision makers are still very perplexed on what their respective journeys and roadmaps look like towards their targets.”

Sustainability goals continue to be perceived as the top corporate priority, cited by 71 per cent of organizations as of one of their top five priorities (highest percentage). North American organisations appear to trail most other regions in establishing long-term goals. Organisations in Asia Pacific prioritise sustainability goals more than any other region.

Most organisations are prioritising energy efficiency and evolution across geographies, but other categories such as emissions reduction and circularity/recycling showed increased momentum. In fact, 50 per cent of organisations plan to increase budgets related to emissions reduction by over 20 per cent over the coming 12 months.

Companies are shifting from primarily process-driven methods for achieving goals to more balanced approaches that combine both technology- and process-driven initiatives. While most organisations focus on process change to achieve near-term goals, over 20 per cent of organisations are using a balanced blend of process and technology with the other 15 per cent leaning heavily on technology to achieve goals.

The current economic and geopolitical environment negatively impacts the ability of organisations to successfully achieve their net zero goals. While pandemic-related concerns were cited as the top barrier to success in the previous report, economic concerns and their impact are now cited as the top anticipated barrier over the coming 12 months.

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