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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.

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Meet our experts

Vincent Charpiot

Executive Vice President, Head of Group Sustainability Accelerator, Capgemini
I am a senior business executive and global business leader with extensive experience in helping clients manage their digital transformations. I lead the Group Sustainability Accelerator and my focus is to ensure we go to market with a unique Sustainability Services portfolio and ecosystem to help our clients on their journey to Net Zero, in an evolving ESG regulation.

Marie-Neige Couriaut

Global Accounts and Ecosystem, Group Biodiversity Lead, Capgemini

Florent Andrillon

Group Climate Tech leader, Capgemini
Florent leads clean tech business development with all sustainability teams across the Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and utilities sector, helping clients to achieve their sustainability goals and transition to a low-carbon economy. He has a strong focus on the energy, resources, and clean tech market, as well as on sustainability, climate, and energy transition issues. He leverages Capgemini’s capabilities and its external partners to deliver innovative and impactful solutions.

Sol Salinas

Global Executive Vice President & North America Sustainability Lead, Capgemini
Sol is Americas and global Group accounts Sustainability Lead at Capgemini, where he oversees work across the Americas and globally on key sustainability priorities. He was the founder of ENERGY STAR and served as brand CZAR and Strategy lead from ’91 to ’05. He is a sustainability expert and digital transformation global thought leader with 25 years of experience in all aspects of sustainability and digital transformation.

Courtney Holm

Head of Sustainability UK | Vice President, Sustainable Futures, Capgemini Invent UK
My role is to shape the way Capgemini creates long term, sustainable value for clients, enabling them with fresh perspectives and digital solutions so that they can play a transformative role in addressing planetary, people and systems challenges. I works across Northern Europe acting as the country lead for the UK and as Executive Sponsor for Invent for Society in the UK.

Karine Vasselin

Expert in Diversity and Inclusion

James Robey

Global Head of Sustainability, Capgemini
I have led the Capgemini Group sustainability agenda since setting first carbon reduction targets in 2008. I am a long-term advocate of ambitious targets as a mechanism to drive innovation to ensure continual improvements. I manage our sustainability risks and drive our program to reduce environmental impacts in our most material areas. However the biggest difference we can make on this agenda, is the work we do with our clients. In 2018, we announced a new target to help our clients save 10 million carbon tonnes through leveraging technology. I regularly speak on this topic and engage directly with our clients.

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