The future of business

Sustainability. Development. Impact.
PwC MAP 2019 CEO Survey

Eighty percent (80%) of the CEOs expect to change their production/service model in the next three to five years to promote more sustainable practices. This shift in focus towards sustainability surfaced as Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines (PwC), in the PwC MAP 2019 CEO Survey, asked the CEOs about their views on sustainability and the changes that they need to make to address the issues that we are facing.

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Traditional business models use linear methods of production and consumption, which are unsustainable. According to the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals statistics, we will need almost three planets to provide the natural resources needed should the global population reach 9.6bn by 2050. In the past decade, the world lost over three million hectares of forest areas. Climate change, poverty, lack of access to
education, environmental damage, and inefficient production and consumption are some of the concerns that keep CEOs awake at night.

In line with the theme of the 17th MAP CEO Conference, “The Future of Business: Sustainability, Development, Impact”, we asked the CEOs about their views on sustainability and the changes that they need to make to address the issues that we are facing. This year, we are also featuring the stories of leaders who integrate sustainability in their business strategies and decisions.

According to the CEOs, urbanization, environmental issues, and ecosystem degradation are the top concerns in the Philippines that should drive the companies to transition to a circular business model. While most CEOs expect to adopt more sustainable practices, they are hindered by high transition costs and inadequate technology.

We hope that this report will encourage the leaders from both the private and public sectors to work together in achieving our sustainable development goals.

 

133 CEOs

127 survey respondents
8 face-to-face interviews*

* Two interviewees also answered the survey, and two interviewees are co-founders

80%

expect to change their production/service model in the next three to five years to promote more sustainable practices

33%

have formal plans to fully transition their business to having a circular business model

CEO survey results

Forty-nine percent (49%) of the CEOs say that the full-year 2019 GDP growth rate will just be between 5.0% to 6.0%. Forty-three percent (43%) of the CEOs, however, still believe that we will hit the set target growth of 6.0% to 7.0%. To achieve this, the economy will need to grow by 6.4% in the second half of the year. Possible initiatives to help accelerate growth in the remaining months include the spending catch-up, which the government is currently reviewing.

With the challenges faced by the economy, 49% of our CEOs say that the full year 2019 GDP growth rate will just be between 5.0% to 6.0%. Forty-three percent of the CEOs, however, still believe that we will hit the set target growth of 6.0% to 7.0%. To achieve this, the economy will need to grow by 6.4% in the second half of the year. Possible initiatives to help accelerate growth in the remaining months include the spending catch-up, which the government is currently reviewing.

 

Q: What do you think is the likely PH GDP growth rate for 2019?

Similar to the responses in 2018, our CEOs believe that infrastructure, domestic consumption, and business process outsourcing and services will drive our country’s growth

 

Q: What do you think will be the key growth drivers of the Philippine economy in 2019?

We have been asking our CEOs about their growth prospects outside the Philippines. In spite of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, most of our CEOs chose these as the most important countries for their growth in the next 12 months. Such findings, however, are different from the results of our 2017 and 2018 survey, where our CEOs identified Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam as the most relevant countries.

 

Q: Which of the following countries do you consider most important for your company’s overall growth?

With the regular news about trade conflicts and shifting alliances, it is not surprising to see that geopolitical uncertainty tops our CEOs’ concerns. The government’s push for reforms and new policies, however, may be worrying the CEOs because 82% identify over-regulation as one of the top threats to their business.

In our past surveys, the CEOs were mostly concerned with issues related to policies and terrorism. What’s good this year is the CEOs are acknowledging that climate change and environmental damage are serious problems that we need to face.

 

Q: How concerned are you, if at all, about each of these potential economic, policy, social, environmental, and business threats to your organization’s growth

Sustainability

The United Nations reported that 8.6% of the 7.7bn world population were living in extreme poverty in 2018, which is significantly higher than the target rate of 3.0%. Globally, around 785m people lack access to basic drinking water service, and around 3.6bn people live in water-stressed areas. In 2017, the global material consumption grew from 87bn tons in 2015 to 92.1bn tons in 2017. Unless consumption is controlled, the global resource extraction may grow to 190bn tons by 2060.


In our survey, we asked the CEOs to share how they are addressing the current sustainability-related issues. Eighty-three percent of the CEOs say that they are using sustainable practices in their businesses, and most identified efficient use of energy and recycling materials as their practices. Nevertheless, only 44% are measuring and reporting the financial impact of their sustainable practices. Cost reductions or savings remains the traditional way of measuring the impact as confirmed by 48% of the CEOs.

 

In our survey the CEOs identified urbanization, environmental issues, and ecosystem degradation as the top concerns that should drive companies to transition to a circular business model. Surprisingly, however, only 18% of the CEOs have formal plans that are being implemented to transition their businesses to a circular model.

CEO Agenda

Eighty percent of the CEOs expect to change their production/service model in the next three to five years to promote more sustainable practices. Most of these CEOs plan to increase efficiency in product manufacture or use by consuming fewer natural resources and materials. The CEOs are also planning to use the product for different functions, which can be done by participating in the sharing economy. The sharing economy principles can help businesses meet their needs with minimal footprints while reducing the economic losses from waste.

Indeed, there is a need for our business leaders to change the way they look at sustainability. Sustainability initiatives should no longer be treated as independent side projects within the companies – sustainability should be embedded into a company’s DNA.


"I kept telling the private sector that the issues related to disaster risk reduction (DRR) should not only be addressed by the government. DRR is the responsibility of both the government and the private sector, and both should work together."

~ Hans Sy, National Resilience Council

"Is there a trade-off between sustainability and innovation? I don’t think so. Sustainability, innovation, and and profitability are not mutually exclusive."

~ Rene Almendras, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.

"What was the social good that I want to benefit? To me it was a no-brainer; it was education because it gives you the greatest ripple effect for every dollar invested."

~ Nanette Medved-Po, Generation Hope

"We will champion other sources of cleaner and/or renewable sources of electricity. We said to ourselves that climate change is going to be an important factor in all of our decisions."


~ Giles Puno, First Philippine Holdings

"Nowadays, we have a more holistic view. Sustainability now encompasses equally important subjects such as economic development, alleviation of poverty, generating employment, and the likes."

~ Cesar Romero, Shell Philippines

"That’s the main point of having Cropital – to connect the farmers to the investors who are willing to support them despite the uncertainties."

~ Ruel Amparo, Cropital

"What we want to ensure is when you order from us, you’re getting something that’s always fresh without throwing away anything. Our vision is really to bring the farms closer to the end consumers."

~ Earl Lim and Derya Tanghe, NXTLVL Farms

 


Explore the survey data

The interactive dashboard shows multi-dimensional analyses of the survey data. It presents interactions among the characteristics of the survey participants and their responses. Through the power of Deals Data and Analytics (D&A), we can efficiently harness insight from large amounts of data. Learn more about Deals D&A here.

 

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Alexander B. Cabrera

Alexander B. Cabrera

Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 8459 2002

Mary Jade T.  Roxas-Divinagracia, CFA®,CVA

Mary Jade T. Roxas-Divinagracia, CFA®,CVA

Deals and Corporate Finance Managing Partner, PwC Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 8459 2060

Karen Patricia Rogacion

Karen Patricia Rogacion

Deals and Corporate Finance Senior Manager, PwC Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 459 3089

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