Four ways to thrive in the society of the future

2. Create sustainable solutions

Across the 12 countries we surveyed, 35% of companies indicate that becoming a more sustainable business will be the most important area of focus in the next five years.

Our research shows Forerunners recognize their stepped-up role as environmental stewards and believe in building and investing in sustainable infrastructure.

For instance, China's industrial giant, BYD, is paving the way for a new electric vehicle (EV) standard to realize its vision of making all fossil fuel-powered vehicles electrified in China. BYD's fleet of electric buses, forklifts, utility vans, street sweepers and garbage trucks run exclusively on batteries manufactured by the company. The company has also established five new subsidies, grouped under the brand Fudi, to sell power batteries and EV parts at scale to other EV manufacturers.

Forerunners also recognize business opportunities in infusing sustainability into how they design, create and bring products or services to market.

A prime illustration of how Forerunners take others on the journey towards a sustainable future is Aramco. The oil giant is partnering with Mitsubishi Corporation (trading house), JGC Corporation (engineering company) and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to build a clean energy supply chain. In 2020, the company produced and transported 40 tons of "carbon-emissions-free" ammonia to energy-scarce Japan.

Forerunners are attracted to building and investing in sustainable infrastructure for the future.

Most attractive opportunity in environmentally friendly solutions

Percentage of respondents who selected top ranked

61% of Forerunners prioritized investing in new sustainable infrastructure for the future, 21% are developing products and services based on sustainability first design principle, and 18% are investing in modernization and redevelopment projects.

Companies that prioritize environmentally friendly solutions in the next five years (Forerunners, n=127; Other companies, n=765) Source: Accenture Growth Markets C-level Survey, September - October 2020

About the Authors

Gianfranco Casati

CEO – Growth Markets

Dr. Vedrana Savic

Managing Director – Thought leadership

Valentin de Miguel

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting and Sustainability Services Lead, Growth Markets

Trevor Gruzin

Senior Managing Director – Growth & Strategy, Growth Markets


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