There has never been a more vital moment for CEOs to embrace sustainability as a core aspect of the enterprise. A new IBM Institute for Business Value study shows that sustainability is rising higher on corporate agendas, and CEOs recognize sustainability as a business imperative and growth driver.

IBM's study surveyed 3,000 CEOs, including 450 energy & resources leaders in over 40 countries, to better understand their priorities relating to sustainability in this complex environment. 

According to the study, 54% energy and resources CEOs recognize increasing sustainability as their top
priority over the next two to three years tied with improving distribution channels. Nearly half of them (46%) stressed 

Unlike other industries, environmental factors, regulatory concerns and market factors are the top factors energy & resources CEOs see impacting their organizations. 

Rising societal concerns about the impact of economic activity on the environment have led to urgent calls for more sustainable practices. And recognizing that governments alone cannot successfully tackle the issues, citizens are turning their hopes to the corporate realm, the study noted.

However, despite facing growing pressures from boards and investors, energy CEOs said that lack of reliable data, uncertain returns and policies are hindering their ability to take action.

The study indicated that nearly 55% of energy & resources CEOs point to unclear ROI and economic benefits, followed by a lack of reliable data insights (43%), regulatory barriers (43%) and technological barriers (33%) as hindering their ability to implement sustainability strategies in their businesses.