The CEOs of Canadian companies don’t take climate change as seriously as their global counterparts, according to a report from PwC Canada.
PwC’s latest Global CEO Survey found that only 23% of Canadian CEOs said they were extremely concerned about climate change and environmental damage — up slightly from 20% last year, but well short of the 30% of global CEOs who expressed extreme concern about the environment.
Most Canadian CEOs aren’t factoring climate change into their decision-making, the report found. Only 32% of Canadian CEOs said climate change is a part of their strategic risk-management activities, compared to 40% of global CEOs.
The discrepancy could be explained by the fact that the majority of the CEOs polled by PwC (70%) were the heads of privately owned companies.
PwC noted that CEOs of private companies were “significantly less likely than their publicly traded counterparts to be increasing investment in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability initiatives over the next three years.”
Indeed, 66% of respondents who lead publicly traded companies said they were investing in ESG issues, compared to only 41% of private-company CEOs, PwC found.
“Businesses need to develop impactful ESG goals and show stakeholders and clients the strategy is more than lip service,” the report suggested.
PwC surveyed 337 CEOs from across Canada in January and February. For further details, including CEOs’ predictions for the economic recovery, read the full report.