PwC @ Rio+20

Sustainability pulse poll: CEO insights

CEOs ready to take action if progress is made at Rio+20
In the weeks running up to the Rio+20 conference, 141 CEOs from 29 countries responded to PwC’s call for business leaders to have their say on the issues being discussed by world leaders – what do they think are the current and future issues and how much progress do they think will be achieved at the conference.


CEOs are prepared to make ambitious pledges for change

71% of CEOs polled said they would be prepared to take more ambitious action on global threats and challenges if significant progress is made at Rio+20. In comparison, just under half have made pledges so far.
CEOs are prepared to make ambitious pledges for change
 

Affordable energy seen as the greatest concern

Affordable energy is the most important issue for CEOs in both 2012 and 2022. Almost 90% of CEOs cited it as important or very important now and it remains their top concern in ten years time. The level of concern intensifies, with those rating it ‘very important’ rising from 39% in 2012 to 60% in 2022.

Sustainable consumption and resource scarcity, as well as equality and social inclusion, are the other leading issues both now and in 2022. Over 80% of CEOs noted it as important.

Water scarcity is seen as an increasing threat over the next ten years, with around a third of CEOs in 2012 and over three quarters in 2022 rating it as an important business issue.
Affordable energy seen as the greatest concern

Affordable energy seen as the greatest concern
 

Expectations for Rio+20 are low

Despite being ready to tackle sustainability issues themselves, CEOs are sceptical about what progress will be made at the conference. Just half of those polled expect to see any progress across the issues being discussed, leaving the other half expecting little to none.
Expectations for Rio+20 are low
 

Global talks must be backed by measures closer to home

While global summits help to focus the minds of governments and businesses alike, CEOs have greater confidence in a bottom up approach. Over 90% of CEOs signalled that regional or national regulation and fiscal measures, along with private sector investment, are the most effective mechanisms for driving change.
Global talks must be backed by measures closer to home