CEOs in Asia Lead Fight Against Climate Change
by HappBKK
2 ต.ค. 2565, 12:31

Chief executives in Asian’s growth markets are demonstrating their leadership in the global fight against climate change in some areas, according to a global study on sustainability.

Mr. Jurgen Coppens, Managing Director, Sustainability Lead, Southeast Asia at Accenture, said the “Climate Leadership in the Eleventh Hour”,  the largest sustainability study conducted to date by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, has revealed that businesses are readying to take bold action on climate change.

The CEOs in Asian’s growth markets, in particular, are exhibiting leadership by setting ambitious targets, instituting protections for their workforce and aligning with government to advance climate change action, said Coppens, citing the research.

There are areas where CEOs in Asia are doing well. For example, 56 per cent of these CEOs say their company has adopted more ambitious sustainability targets following the Covid-19 pandemic, whereas 44 per cent of CEOs globally do so. Furthermore, two-thirds of CEOs in Asia have started offering their workers social security nets to protect them from climate risks versus 50 per cent globally. Notably, while 46 per cent of  CEOs in Asia say their governments have a good understanding of business opinion on climate policy, only 30 per cent of global business heads think so.

On the other hand, 34 per cent of CEOs in Asia say implementing strategy across business functions is the top barrier to implementing an integrated and strategic company-wide approach to sustainability issues, while only 25 per cent of CEOS globally find that an obstacle. Only 43 per cent of chief executives in Asia have begun divesting from fossil fuel investments compared to 49 per cent globally. In addition, while 36 per cent of CEOs in Asia say an inability to access natural resources for business operations poses a major risk due to the physical impacts of climate change, the figure is just 30 per cent globally.

CEOs in Asia’s growth markets also agree that sustainability demands will increase over the next three years and that these will pose both threats and opportunities for businesses.

“Seventy per cent of growth market CEOs believe the pressure will continue to increase significantly over the next 3 years,” said Coppens.

The Accenture executive was speaking via a teleconferencing broadcast to the Sustainability 2022 Expo held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on October 1.

  Some key highlights of the UNGC-Accenture study, which was conducted through extensive 1:1 interviews with more than 100 leading chief executives and a survey of over 1,100 CEOs across 113 countries and 21 industries, are given below.

  • Businesses are already experiencing the damaging effects of climate change and are ready to take bold action.
  • The impacts are a wake up call that’s accelerating their transition to more sustainable business models.
  • Windows of opportunity to turn things around are closing, but key actions can help.
  • Transformational leaders with a head start demonstrate behaviors that are critical to achieving a competitive advantage from sustainability.
  • To make the most impact, policy makers must take critical actions.

Coppens added that responsible businesses also exhibit stronger financial  performance. According to the study, companies with high ESG performance recorded a 4.7 times higher operating margin than low ESG companies. High ESG firms also have a 2.3 times higher total return to shareholders compared to low ESG enterprises.

Energy at the touch of your fingers

Meanwhile, Edwin Diender, Chief Innovation Officer, Global Electric Power Digitalization Business Unit at Huawei Technologies, told the Sustainability conference that the global trends in energy comprised a shift to new energy and renewable energy sources, peak electricity demand, electrification or a shift to electric vehicles, and digitalization.

And digital technology will be the underlining foundation on which to build the next move toward sustainability.

“There will be a transformation of the existing power grid to digital or the world wide web of electricity. Information technology and the electricity infrastructure are merging. Just as when you tap information on your smartphone, the power grid will be available at your fingertips,” he said.

“Digital technology will be an enabler to achieve carbon neutrality ahead of the schedule.”

The Huawei executive was speaking on the topic “Energy Transition and Digital Transformation to Drive Carbon Neutrality.”




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