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Over 50% of firms have added headcount or created new roles to deliver on their net-zero strategy: Deloitte

Over 50% of firms have added headcount or created new roles to deliver on their net-zero strategy: Deloitte

Listen to this story:
  • Over 50% of firms have increased staff to achieve net-zero targets.
  • Net-zero commitments drive product innovation and enhance data transparency.
  • Collaboration and governance are crucial for effective climate action.

Financial firms are accelerating their journey towards net-zero by enhancing governance, increasing staffing, and innovating products. Deloitte’s survey reveals that over half of financial firms have added headcount or created new roles to meet their net-zero commitments. Effective strategies, such as transparent communication and collaboration within the ecosystem, are pivotal for achieving these goals. The report also emphasizes the importance of robust data management and comprehensive risk assessment to mitigate climate risks and foster a sustainable financial ecosystem.

Key Findings:

  1. Commitment Matters: Firms that commit to net-zero exhibit higher levels of product innovation and enterprise-wide engagement. This commitment adds momentum when challenges arise.
    CEOs are used to making big calls. It’s like when a CEO says they’re going to cut $5 billion from their cost base. They don’t know, ahead of time, every last detail of the plan. First, they do some analysis, then they go public—and then they work out how to get it done.
  2. Strategy: Integrating net-zero into corporate strategy involves transforming product development, customer interactions, operating models, and success metrics. CEO accountability is crucial for delivering net-zero strategies.
  3. Governance: Establishing robust governance structures is essential. Over 70% of firms now have a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), up from 31% two years ago, reflecting the need for dedicated leadership in sustainability.
    Our goal is to embed this in business as usual everywhere else. Over the past few months, we’ve worked with finance, risk, compliance, even audit—and they’ve now agreed to set up their own teams dedicated to net-zero.
  4. Organizational Design: Many firms have created new roles or added staff to meet net-zero targets. CSOs play a pivotal role, often reporting directly to CEOs, to embed sustainability into business operations.
  5. Talent: Over 50% of firms have recruited additional staff or created new roles to drive net-zero strategies. Client-facing teams must understand climate science and sector-specific transition pathways.
    You can teach sustainability. It’s much harder to teach business sense.
  6. Products and Services: Firms are developing new products to accelerate clients’ transitions to net-zero. A quarter of firms have launched products targeting industries such as power, oil, gas, real estate, and transport.
  7. Risk: Risk management is crucial for translating net-zero goals into actions. Only 3% of firms feel fully confident in assessing climate risks for individual customers.
  8. Data: Accurate data is a significant challenge. Firms struggle to source Scope 3 emissions data and customer transition plans. Collaborative efforts are needed to enhance data accuracy and usability.
  9. Communication: Nearly half of firms report clear and forceful CEO messaging on net-zero. Effective communication strategies involve transparency, accountability, and authenticity to mitigate greenwashing risks.
  10. Ecosystem: Collaboration across the ecosystem is vital. Nine out of ten firms find participating in industry working groups effective in tackling climate challenges.
    We need to establish a clear ecosystem support network.

Related Article: Google and Deloitte Drive Climate Action with Digital Solutions

These insights underline the importance of commitment, strategic integration, governance, talent acquisition, and ecosystem collaboration in achieving net-zero goals.

Find access to the full Report here: Download


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