Many CEOs and senior business leaders have used the COVID-19 and economic crisis as an opportunity to focus on redesigning their business. Like others, they’ve felt compelled to re-examine their business and operational models, driven by the internal necessity for digital transformation, as well as external consumer and regulatory pressures to advance sustainability efforts. Across most, if not all, industries we’ve also seen the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate the pace of sustainability efforts, with executive spend expected to increase over the next few years in this direction (see figure 1).
The pandemic has also elevated the priority of social issues among executives, with consumers and employees alike granting greater credibility to corporate transparency in shareholder disclosures and the environmental impact of global operations. Within the financial services industry in particular, sustainability and climate risk can play a significant role in company valuation, as investors and other stakeholders assess the physical and transitional dimensions of climate risk in a firm’s financial assets and investments.
Given the growing importance of sustainability, this article will address how sustainability strategies can be utilized as a catalyst for business growth, particularly in the financial services industry, and howMicrosoft Azure is uniquely positionedto help our customers achieve these goals.