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Seven ‘Green’ Business Trends to Watch in 2023

Investing issues were dominant in a recent report, “7 Sustainability Trends that Will Shape Business in 2023,” based on public data and published by AccountAbility, a leading consultancy and standards firm.

Green Business Trends
Trend 1: Achieving Net Zero
  1. More than 40% of the largest global corporations have set net zero targets, an increase of 20% from December 2020.

  2. However, only about half of companies with net zero targets include “interim GHG [greenhouse gas] emission reduction targets” in their plans.

Trend 2: Stakeholder Activism
  1. Globally, of some 20,000 adult and teen Gen Zs surveyed by Edelman, 57% think that brands have more power than governments to “solve social ills and societal problems.”

  2. A record number—282—of US corporate shareholder votes were held on Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) issues in the 2022 proxy voting season.

Trend 3: Geopolitics
  1. Almost all (94%) of global business executives agreed their company was impacted by “unexpected geopolitical risks” in 2021.

  2. Globally, about 25% of boards “regularly” consider geopolitical risk.

Trend 4: Building “Future-Focused” Boards of Directors
  1. About 27% of board seats globally were held by women as of May 2022.

  2. More than 70% of newly elected board members come from a professional background “versus 15% from blue collar backgrounds.”

Trend 5: ESG Disclosure Reports
  1. Some 96% of the world’s largest companies report on “ESG matters.”

  2. About 49,900 companies are expected to report under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, up 422% from “current levels of sustainability disclosure.”

Trend 6: Sustainable Supply Chain
  1. Some 74% of companies surveyed globally had supplier codes of conduct in 2021, compared with 64% in 2019.

  2. Globally, about 51% of companies surveyed had a “sustainable procurement policy” in 2021, compared with 38% in 2019.

Trend 7: Ecosystem Services
  1. Over half of global GDP ($44 trillion) is “moderately or highly dependent on ecosystem services.”

  2. Exposure to risk due to nature loss is highest in India and Indonesia, where “highly dependent sectors respectively comprise 33% and 32% of national GDP,” respectively.



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