Weather-related natural disasters likely to have an impact on sustainability initiatives

Posted on 2 Nov 2023 by The Manufacturer

As Storm Ciaran batters England's south coast, a Quarterly Index from Honeywell has revealed a growing number of organisations globally are boosting annual sustainability investments by at least 50% as a result of this year's extreme weather, and are optimistic about achieving short- and long-term objectives.

More than six in ten organisations globally (62%) say recent wildfires, floods and storms during 2023 will have a material impact on their environmental initiatives, according to the fifth edition of Honeywell’s Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI).

Another 45% admit the extreme heat will have, or has already had, a material effect on their near-term plans. Compiled quarterly by Honeywell and The Futurum Group, the ESI gauges movement in corporate sentiment and investment on the sustainability front.

“The extreme weather events this year have increased the sense of urgency for immediate action at organisations,” said Gavin Towler, Chief Scientist for Sustainability and CSO at Honeywell. “As a result, we should expect to see more organisations looking to accelerate their sustainability efforts and, in particular, adopting a technology-driven approach to their energy transition plans.”

The findings shed light on the plans and progress made in sustainability efforts across regions and industry sectors:

  • Nearly nine in ten (88%) organisations are planning to increase their budgets for energy evolution and efficiency initiatives.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of organisations are at least somewhat optimistic about achieving near-term goals, up from 62% a year ago. The energy sector shows the highest level of confidence among the industries covered in the study.
  • Nearly one in five organisations are now taking a technology-driven approach to their sustainability initiatives – the highest percentage since the launch of the Index.
  • Ninety-two percent of respondents have an ESG reporting process in place, while 30% say the responsibility resides in the C-suite.

Honeywell’s quarterly Index measures corporate sustainability commitment globally in aggregate. It also compiles data to gauge activity in four specific sustainability areas: energy evolution and efficiency; emissions reduction; pollution prevention; and circularity and recycling.

The Index further breaks down its findings by four regions (Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America and North America) and eight industry sectors (banking, consumer goods, energy, government/public sector, healthcare, technology, manufacturing/construction and transportation/logistics.)

Daniel Newman, CEO of The Futurum Group, said: “The data is showing that organisations in the public and private sectors are actively forming frameworks to partake in either policy-driven or investment and technological-oriented action in effort to address the global objectives in environmental sustainability.”

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