Corporate executive fears over energy, resources hit new high

More than half of chief executives regard energy and raw material costs as a major threat to their growth prospects, according to a new survey of nearly 800 corporate bosses from around the world.

Preliminary findings from PwC's Annual Global CEO Survey reveal concerns over energy costs and resource scarcity are at a three-year high, with 53 percent of chief executives claiming the issues have overtaken sluggish consumer spending as one of the top threats to future growth, a seven percentage point increase on last year.

The company said concerns over rising energy prices and raw material price shocks were most pronounced in developing economies in Asia and Africa, but high numbers of chief executives in all geographies regard environmental issues as a growing risk.

For example, a quarter of European chief executives identified energy and resource costs as a problem, while a third said increasing natural disaster risks could have a negative impact on their operations.

Significantly, large numbers of businesses are now taking action to address these risks, with 47 percent of CEOs claiming they will increase their focus on reducing their environmental footprint next year.

"With a much more challenging environment for growth, businesses can ill afford price shocks in energy and resource costs for business, so it's no surprise they are rising up the list of threats to their future growth prospects," said Richard Gledhill, partner at PwC's sustainability and climate change division.

Photo of bank of gas meters provided by Bobkeenan Photography via Shutterstock

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