* This is a contributed article. The IBTimes news staff was not involved in the creation of this article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of IBTimes. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here are our T&C. For licensing please click here.
Facing Paris Climate Goals, Business Leaders Optimistic On Global Sustainability
Facing Paris Climate Goals, Business Leaders Optimistic On Global Sustainability Efforts Pixabay

Business leaders around the world are expressing confidence in pursuing more international activities to promote sustainability, according to a new survey, which could be essential as countries work toward meeting the ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Factum Global Business Sentiment Survey received full or partial responses from more than 200 business leaders – including executives, directors, and others – in over 30 countries, with roughly a third in the United States. It asked about their sentiments on the state of global business, using five key indicators for a respondent: their globalization business plans, global organization performance, macroeconomic expectations, perceived morality, and risk tolerance.

Important findings from the survey include 77 percent of respondents saying that climate change is one of the factors that is encouraging them to adopt initiatives to promote sustainability in their international growth strategies. Sustainability generally refers to companies finding ways to reduce the negative environmental impact of their operations.

The favorable outlook on international business expansion and the role of sustainability has increased by 1 percentage point from the prior version of the same survey.

Other top-level results include 80 percent of business leaders queried saying they do not think it is currently too risky to trade with international counterparts, up from 8 percent in the last survey; 81 percent of executives planning to continue or increase global activities in the next six months, up from 1 percent in the previous survey, and 88 percent of respondents believing that international business is good for their organization, up 2 percent from the prior survey.

Such optimism from influential business leaders could offer important momentum for ongoing efforts by countries and companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet the binding goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The pact commits the 196 countries that signed it to limiting global temperature rises to below 2°C with a target cap at 1°C.

Investing in solar, wind, and other renewable energy efforts, along with other sustainable business practices, will be key for businesses across the globe to pursue to meet those goals, as recent press reports illustrate – and the new survey provides promising momentum.

The survey shows that despite ongoing economic volatility, business leaders are still confident in the potential for greater international work next year, with a focus on sustainability.

"Sustainability is integral to competitive strategy and global growth, and executives must continue to make these issues central to their business models," said Francisco Gomez, founder and CEO of Factum Global, the international consulting firm that took the survey.

"Our survey quantifies the crucial role of sustainability initiatives in driving innovation, revenue, and stakeholder value. Sustainability factors are key opportunities, not just risks, for strategic leaders aiming to future-proof their organizations and meet key stakeholder demand," he said.

Organized in collaboration with Festival of the Diaspora, Global Chamber, and Illustra Impact, LLC, the survey was conducted online from October 6 to October 26.