The ongoing economic downturn is not deterring CEOs from investing in climate goals.
- Speaking Tuesday at a Fortune virtual CEO roundtable, prominent CEOs spoke out in favor of continued climate change investments and how challenging carbon emissions is becoming a factor in how they do business.
- There are no signs that corporations have any intent to pull out of their climate promises, despite the turbulent direction of the world economy.
- “This is very important to our customers, and we’re going to invest in it no matter what the economic cycle is. Because who wants to have left a company that made the world worse at the end of it?” says Thermo Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper.
- “We strategically invest at these times to create a competitive advantage, and help our customers serve their customers with a lower carbon footprint,” says Lummus Technology CEO Leon de Bruyn.
- “It really changed as we moved the technology from a consumer focus into an enterprise focus, that these actually can be a tool to help meet sustainability goals,” says Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson.
Why it’s news
The winds have shifted radically in the past year toward addressing the issues surrounding climate change and carbon emissions. Corporations see both responsible leadership in addressing these issues and financial opportunities in embracing the challenges.
As we previously reported, climate investments are proving to be a safe bet in the midst of the current economic downturn. Climate investing is skyrocketing in venture capital and federal investments as major governments seek to combat climate change—increasing from $1.9 billion in 2013 to $37 billion in 2021.
“The data show if you are forward-leaning in terms of climate and sustainability, it can accelerate top-line growth, it can lead to medium-term cost savings and also value creation. And so when we look at climate leaders versus laggers, we see shareholder value creation which is stronger in the climate leaders than in climate laggers,” says BCG chair Sharon Marcil.
The market is currently unstable, but climate change investments appear to be a safe bet at the moment.
“It’s absolutely crucial that corporations like ours are reporting on things that are not only financial. Because ultimately, we are extremely important to society and we have platforms that stretch out into all corners of our communities. We just need to find a model where we can make progress, rather than doing a revolution and losing sight of the improvements already being made,” says Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.