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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: PwC sees growing business models in “sustainability”

An illustration picture shows projection of binary code on man holding aptop computer in WarsawPwC recently announced survey findings indicating increasing investor interest in sustainability. We joined Kayla Gillan – Leader, PwC Investor Resource Institute, and Don Reed – Managing Director, Sustainable Business Solutions Practice, to learn more about what PwC is doing in the sustainability space, and how sustainability matters for operating businesses and investors.


Don: There are two main components to our model. First off, we have heard increasingly from investors that they need to know what “sustainability” means for their strategy. We are helping these investors to understand this broad range of emerging risk and opportunity. Second, we have heard that there is a high level of dissatisfaction with the quality and consistency of data coming from companies related to their ESG or sustainability-related performance. We are working with individual company clients and standard setting boards to help develop this reporting landscape so that it works well for everyone.

Don: Investors are trying to apply sustainability to their strategies. Businesses are trying to articulate what they are doing in the sustainability space, and why that should matter to investors. We are trying to help both sides of this discussion understand each other.

Sustainability: Does PwC see this area as strategic for its business?

Don: Yes. Urbanization, climate change, resource scarcity, shifting global power dynamics, and sustainability are some of the mega-trends we are working on with both investors and operating businesses. Our investment in sustainability services ramped up significantly roughly five years ago, and has continued in the form of new hiring and acquisitions, with several hundred dedicated employees globally. This is direct response to client demand for help seizing the investment, compliance and competitive opportunities in this space.

Kayla: I think that people join PwC because of the innovation and cutting edge nature of the firm, and this is one example of that. Sustainability has been identified by investors as a key area to understand and manage. Sustainability is a megatrend, and PwC is staffing accordingly.

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