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Sustainability trends

A world in balance: Heightened sustainability awareness yet lagging actions

Report from the Capgemini research institute

Having now crossed six of the nine planetary boundaries and edging towards the remaining three, addressing humanity’s destabilizing impact on the Earth’s climate and ecosystems is an urgent global priority.

In this Capgemini Research Institute report, A World in Balance 2023: Heightened sustainability awareness yet lagging actions, we provide comprehensive insights into important sustainability trends, both environmental and social, for the global corporate sector. This report follows last year’s inaugural edition of the A World in Balance research series, adding perspective on shifts in sustainability trends over the past year.

Read an executive summary below.

Click to read A world in balance 2023

Having interviewed over 2,000 senior executives from more than 700 leading organizations across 13 countries, we found that more executives today see a clear business case for sustainability. More also say that the benefits of sustainability outweigh the costs and view sustainability more positively than as simply a financial obligation.

However, this improved awareness has not translated into increased investment in sustainability in 2023, and organizations continue to fall short in terms of reporting on sustainability initiatives, especially on Scope 3. Similarly, action around sustainable product design has been less than impressive since last year’s research.

While the bottom line on sustainability has been lacking, there have been pockets of progress that show positive changes. For example, 57% of executives shared that their organization is in the process of redesigning its business/operating model to be more sustainable – up from 37% in 2022. With such significant improvements in sentiment, we can expect investment and action to follow suit in the future. Additionally, an important development has consisted of increased focus on the social dimension of sustainability, with companies evaluating their suppliers based on whether they pay a living wage, for example.

To convert positive perception into sustainability action, organizations will have to act decisively and at pace. In this report, in addition to our insights on the key trends around sustainability, covering the business case, improved perception, social sustainability, and generative AI, we share six recommendations for sustainability leaders to accelerate their organizations’ environmental and social initiatives.

Download the report to learn more about how organizations can become more sustainable –to keep our environment and world in balance.

Meet our experts

Vincent Charpiot

Expert in Business Development, Sales Strategy

Salomon (Sol) Solinas

EVP: Americas Sustainability Lead
A corporate sustainability and digital transformation expert, with 25 years of experience, spanning multiple industries, I am the lead for Sustainability in the Americas for Capgemini. My ESG and sustainability expertise includes enterprise digital transformation, circular economy, strategic energy management, ENERGY STAR and LEED green buildings, green IT, renewable energy, carbon foot-printing, and environmental metrics and reporting. I am a staunch advocate of human-centered design, re-purposing Maslow’s ’Hierarchy of Needs’ to prioritize, monetize, and deploy digitally-enabled use cases in ‘smart’ communities. Previous roles include: a founder of US EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and its Director of Strategic Planning; and Assistant Office Director at EPA’s Office of International Affairs leading various US-led multilateral partnerships related to global climate change, clean air, water and sanitation, as well as solid and nuclear waste.

Courtney Holm

Vice President, Sustainability Solutions, UK Head of Sustainability & Invent for Society

Capgemini named a Leader in two IDC MarketScape 2019 Vendor Assessments for Utility Services


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