Indian CEOs Step Up on Climate Change, Deloitte Report Finds

Deloitte’s “Chair of the Future” report finds Indian corporate leaders prioritizing sustainability

A new report by Deloitte India reveals a growing focus on climate change in Indian corporate boardrooms. The report, titled “Chair of the Future: The Role of the Chair in Climate Transition,” surveyed 28 Chairs of Indian corporations, finding a heightened awareness and understanding of climate-related risks.

The report highlights a shift in leadership, with Chairs playing a more active role in driving climate action. Key findings include:

  • Increased Boardroom Focus on Climate Strategy: Chairs are prioritizing adaptation and mitigation strategies, aligning individual and company goals towards sustainability. This involves empowering executives and creating climate action committees.
  • Education and Transparency: Continuous learning on climate issues and best practices is seen as crucial. Chairs recognize the need for robust ESG (environmental, social, and governance) metrics in reporting to ensure transparency with investors.
  • Shifting Metrics: Integrating climate considerations into capital allocation decisions is emerging as a key strategy. This allows for investments in measures that mitigate risk and improve market performance.
  • Profitability Through Sustainability: Sustainability is viewed as both an ethical imperative and a profitable path forward. Chairs are leading efforts to integrate climate considerations into business operations and reimagine business models with a focus on environmental responsibility.
  • Collaboration for Impact: Public-private partnerships and corporate alliances are seen as essential for maximizing the impact of sustainability efforts.

The report identifies four archetypes for integrating climate change into business strategy: Value Maximizers, Corporate Contributors, Impact Integrators, and Social Innovators. It also emphasizes the importance of both internal capabilities and external demands when developing climate strategies.

“The role of the Chair is evolving,” says [Deloitte India representative name], a co-author of the report. “Chairs are now expected to be Vision Provocateurs for ESG leadership, Culture and Talent Cultivators embedding sustainability into the company DNA, Trust Torchbearers building trust with stakeholders, Guardians of Long-term ESG Integrity, and Crisis Compasses navigating challenges with a commitment to ESG principles.”

The report underscores the changing role of Chairs in Indian boardrooms. By prioritizing climate action and integrating sustainability into core business strategies, Chairs are positioning their companies for long-term success in a changing world.