Thursday, April 17, 2008

How companies think about climate change: A McKinsey Global Survey

Some interesting facts from McKinsey Global Survey:

* Fully 60 % of global executives surveyed by The McKinsey Quarterly regard climate change as strategically important, and a majority consider it important to product development, investment planning, and brand management.
* Fewer companies, however, act on these opinions. More than one-third of executives say their companies seldom or never consider climate change when developing overall strategy.
* Nonetheless, executives express optimism about the business prospects of addressing climate change. 61 % expect the issues associated with climate change to boost profits — IF managed well.
* Despite the uncertainties around regulation, a remarkable 82 % of executives expect some form of climate change regulation in their companies’ home country within five years.

I'd draw from here:
- Awareness, by itself, does not create change. There are loads of studies that demonstrate remarkable increase in the consumers, business people and other stakeholders' understanding of sustainability issues and challenges (climate change, poverty, social exclusion etc), its connection with doing business, daily consumption patterns and so on. Nevertheless, actually doing something about it, is significantly rarer. IE. one understands the issue, but doesn't actually act upon it and doesn't really get out of the "it-is-like-that, because-it-has-always-been-like-that", that for various reasons. For ex. a consumer x understands the issue of fair trade, the need for it and IS actually willing to pay more for a fair trade product. YET, the consumer patterns do not reflect that: in spite of the willingness, the consumer does not buy the product. Again, for various reasons.
How to have the ACTION reflect the AWARENESS? What are the challenges we face personally, in family life, in an organization we work, in the community we life in? How are we going to go about these challenges?'s quite a thing for the reinvention of the corporate world, the consumer society!

- Taking care of the environment, could be profitable for the company, if managed properly. What stops from doing it? Lack of the sense of urgency, knowledge and skills, consumer appreciation, too hard to let go of the 'business as usual'?

- Could acting before the state (by imposing more regulation) mean competitive advantage to the businesses taking a faster leap ahead?

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