Canadian businesses need to address the challenges of today – without losing focus on the future.
Have Canadian companies become climate skeptics? When it comes to their views on the effectiveness of global climate pacts, they most certainly are. So, what does this mean for widespread adoption and implementation of sustainable business practices when less than a quarter of organizations are concerned with environmental threats? Are we missing opportunities here?
While Canadian policy makers view climate change as a major threat, Canadian businesses may not be on the same page, according to our latest survey. In fact, only 16% of Canadian organizations believe sustainability risks pose a threat to potential growth.
“I think a lot of Canadians would be surprised to learn that 11% of businesses in this country believe global climate pacts and accords will have zero effect on making meaningful impacts in the fight against climate change,” says Angie Hall, Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC Bank Canada. “That’s almost twice as high as their international peers. But while short-term challenges may be leading to increased skepticism, it's important for business leaders to remember that inaction today will ultimately be costlier tomorrow. Customers, regulators, employees, investors - all are demanding more action from companies on sustainability, and are beginning to vote on those efforts with their wallets and policies. Companies that recognize the need to prioritize sustainability-linked efforts stand to reap the benefits in the long run.”
While those polled appear skeptical in the short-term, demand for products like HSBC's sustainable banking portfolio has been steadily rising in Canada over the past year - a clear sign that those with a long-term view of success recognize the importance of sustainability as a part of the business strategy. HSBC Bank Canada is uniquely positioned to assist organizations in implementing and achieving their sustainability goals and as a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, we are committed to aligning our lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050 through ambitious science-based programs in conjunction with our international partners in this important framework.
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