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The United Nations Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study

Special Edition: A Call to Climate Action

Growth & Innovation

Business leaders see climate change as a powerful disruptive force in their industries, presenting opportunities for growth, innovation and competitive advantage.

Respondents across more than 150 countries and 40 industry sectors told us their views on the climate challenge and the business case for action. Among the world's largest companies, those with annual revenues in excess of US$1billion:

  • Seventy percent see opportunities for growth and innovation

  • Sixty-seven percent report a clear business case for action

  • Sixty-nine percent see investment in climate solutions as essential to competitive advantage

Beyond Incrementalism

Significant investment is already transforming critical sectors to low-carbon growth. But while companies are moving quickly to innovate climate solutions and adopt low-carbon business models, they see significant barriers to progress:

  • New climate solutions require industries to rethink their business models, develop new competencies, and build new coalitions.

  • Current policy uncertainties are slowing the scale and speed of transformation.

Business leaders are calling on governments and policymakers to secure a bold and ambitious deal in Paris that can stimulate investment and unlock the full potential of the private sector.

Climate Coalitions

Business leaders believe that the COP21 negotiations in Paris will be a critical juncture in international efforts to combat climate change.

Our research identifies five key policy measures that can unlock further private sector investment in climate solutions, including the development of global, robust and predictable carbon pricing mechanisms.

Additionally, our research uncovered five critical leadership behaviours exhibited by companies taking a leading role in addressing the climate challenge.

Transformative action on climate change will require new coalitions to rejuvenate global efforts and lay the foundations for a new era of collaborative global development.


Seventy-four percent of leaders of the world’s largest companies, see a long-term agreement in Paris as critical to unlocking private sector investment in climate solutions.

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