Businesses' sustainability investments in Germany rising despite economic uncertainty – survey
Clean Energy Wire
Around three quarters (76 %) of businesses in Germany increased investments in sustainability measures in 2022 despite high economic uncertainty, a survey by consulting firm Deloitte found. The majority (72 %) of chief executives surveyed in the country are convinced that economic growth and climate goals can go hand in hand, with climate change among the top three priorities for German boards, the CxO Sustainability Survey 2023 found. Only future economic development and innovation are seen as more pressing, with the shortage of skilled workers and geopolitical conflicts coming next. “In a time of overlapping crises and constant uncertainty, boards have recognised the urgency of the current climate crisis and made it one of their most important areas of action,” consultant Bernhard Lorentz said.
Businesses in Germany are using more sustainable materials, reducing air travel, increasing energy efficiency and sourcing renewable energy, the consultant said. However, “much more speed is needed in the implementation of climate protection measures and in adapting to climate change,” Lorentz argued. Additionally, the gap between aspiration and reality still remains large in some areas, according to the survey. “The will to transform is there. Now it is important to quickly close the gap between aspiration, implementation and impact,” Lorentz said, pointing at transparent communication in the reporting of climate targets and measures. “Sustainability must become even more clearly quantifiable in the future. Only in this way can the long-term financial benefit of sustainability measures be evaluated and reconciled with the short-term costs.” While supply chain issues, a lack of skilled workers and high energy prices are amongst the most urgent challenges facing businesses in Germany, companies are increasingly noticing the effects of climate change in the business environment, the survey found.