Report: Sustainability is a top 10 priority for CEOs this year

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A recent survey of CEOs and senior executives by Gartner, Inc. revealed significant shifts in their thinking about people, goals, prices and productivity in 2022, particularly in the areas of sustainability, workforce issues and inflation.

One of the key findings is that artificial intelligence (AI) is now reported as the most impactful new technology among CEOs for the third year in a row. Conversely, 63% of CEOs view the metaverse as either not applicable or highly unlikely as a key technology for their business.

In addition, for the first time in the history of the survey, CEOs ranked environmental sustainability in their top 10 strategic business priorities, ranking 8th. Nearly three-quarters of CEOs agreed that increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts are attracting investors to their companies. Sustainability also appears as a competitive differentiator for CEOs in 2022 and 2023, on par with brand trust among respondents.

People issues, such as talent retention, were prioritized for CEOs for the second year in a row, only slightly behind technology-related issues such as digitalization and cybersecurity, and significantly ahead of financial issues such as profitability and cash flow.

In terms of inflation, 62% of CEOs see general price inflation as a persistent or long-term problem. Their main response to inflation is to increase prices (51% of respondents), rather than responding with productivity and efficiency (22% of respondents).

Overall, CEOs’ perspectives changed significantly in 2022, impacted by the lingering effects of the pandemic and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, CEOs’ digital business ambition continues to rise, unabated by the pandemic and related crises.

The annual Gartner 2022 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey was conducted between July 2021 and December 2021 among more than 400 CEOs and other senior business executives in North America, EMEA and APAC across industries, revenue and company sizes.

Read Gartner’s full report.

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