Press Release

Gartner Survey Reveals 69% of CEOs View Sustainability as a Growth Opportunity

Gartner

Analysts to Discuss Leadership Trends at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Kochi, India, November 11-13

 Sixty-nine percent of CEOs view sustainability as a leading business growth opportunity in 2024, according to a recent survey of CEOs and senior executives by Gartner, Inc.

“As CEOs reset their long-term strategies, environmental sustainability remains one of the leading factors that will frame competition,” said Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “Despite much corporate greenwash, recent economic conditions could have triggered a reversion to environmental, social and governance (ESG) cynicism and a refocus on profit at all costs. However, the overall commitment of CEOs appears unwavering.”

The 2024 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey was conducted from July to December 2023 among over 400 CEOs and other senior business executives in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa, across different industries, revenue and company sizes.

Sustainability consistently remains a top 10 business priority, surpassing even productivity and efficiency this year,” said Moyer. “Leaders and investors know environmentally cavalier corporate behavior is a mid- to long-term risk to business results, with a big price to be paid when environmental factors are ignored as externalities. However, smart CEOs realize big sustainability challenges create new areas of business opportunity.”

Achieving Sustainable Business Growth

According to Gartner’s annual survey, the leading ways CEOs are using sustainability to drive business growth are through sustainable products and services (33%); sustainable business practices (18%); stakeholder engagement (18%); and decarbonization (18%). Digital investments and innovation is ranked ninth at 8% (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Environmental Sustainability to Drive Business Growth

Source: Gartner (June 2024)

“Digital technology can accelerate progress toward sustainability goals, going beyond compliance to help enterprises reach targets, enable new business models and unleash revenue streams,” said Moyer.

According to Gartner, digital technology plays an important role in driving both financial and sustainability outcomes. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT), data and analytics can optimize wind turbines, which reduces costs and greenhouse gas emissions. AI and IoT can reduce food loss costs and waste; whereas a circular economy marketplace can create new revenue and reduce waste.

Climate Change Driving Agenda

The Gartner survey revealed 54% of CEOs say their businesses are affected by changing weather patterns, at least moderately. Over half (51%) acknowledge changing weather patterns are causing them to plan changes to the way they operate or have already done so.

“CEOs see that climate change is causing weather pattern shifts that are directly impacting their business operations already,” said Moyer. “Those operations must be adapted, with technology playing a vital role in driving these changes, especially in the dynamics of supply chains.”

The Gartner survey revealed the biggest impact of changing weather patterns cited by CEOs is operating dynamics (30%), particularly changes to logistics, such as warehousing, timing and routing of deliveries. Relocations (including nearshoring) comes in second (14%), followed by automation, technology and data (13%).

Gartner clients can read more in the report “2024 CEO Survey — The Year of Strategy Relaunches.”

 

Additional leadership trends will be presented during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo, the world’s most important conferences for CIOs and other IT executives. Gartner analysts and attendees will explore the technology, insights and trends shaping the future of IT and business, including how to unleash the possibility of generative AI, business transformation, cybersecurity, customer experience, data analytics, executive leadership and more. Follow news and updates from the conferences on X using #GartnerSYM.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo include:
911 September 2024 | Gold Coast, Australia
21–24 October 2024 | Orlando, FL
28–30 October 2024 | Tokyo, Japan
4–7 November 2024 | Barcelona, Spain

1113 November 2024 | Kochi, India

 

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.