Transform or die? Canadian CEOs see climate risk chaos, ‘non-viable’ businesses in future

Data released today paints a worrying landscape for C-suite executives

Transform or die? Canadian CEOs see climate risk chaos, ‘non-viable’ businesses in future

One quarter of Canadian CEOs believe that if their company doesn’t start to “transform” in 2023, their business strategy won’t be viable in 10 years’ time. Data released today from PwC shed light on growing C-suite anxieties, with everything from inflation to global warming keeping CEOs up at night.

According to the data, chief executives believe climate change will impact their cost profiles – and yet 49% of Canadian leaders aren’t actively looking to reduce emissions this year. What’s more, 76% of CEOs think that overall global economic growth will decline in the coming 12 months, spilling out yet more potential business issues.

"CEOs have endured a lengthy period of crisis and threats that have impacted last year's optimism,” says Nicolas Marcoux, CEO PwC Canada. “With inflation at levels that have not been seen in decades, macroeconomic volatility, and geopolitical tensions to name a few factors, it's no surprise that CEOs are predicting a decline in global growth over the next 12 months.

“In order to get beyond the short-term challenges, and excel in the longer-term, strategic transformation is going to be critical."

Upskilling a main priority in 2023

And the warning signs of impending change are already on the horizon. The Canadian tech sector has seen mass layoffs in the past couple of months, with giants such as Amazon, Salesforce, Zoom and Spotify seeing job losses. With economic uncertainty reigning, leaders are looking for ways to navigate potential downturns without losing profitability – something that’s reflected in PwC’s new report.

Yet, despite the anxieties, just 18% of Canadian CEOs say they plan on freezing hiring this year – with 85% saying they don’t even plan to stint wages. In fact, the main area of executive internal concern seems to be learning and development – as 70% of CEOs say they plan in upskilling their employees in 2023.

"Striking the right balance may be challenging, but CEOs in Canada have demonstrated their resilience and an incredible ability to pivot these past few years,” says Marcoux.

“By staying focused on building trust and generating long-term value for their people, their clients and society, business leaders can position themselves strongly to mitigate the risk of a potential economic downturn."  

Recent articles & video

One-half of HR leaders rolling out ChatGPT guidelines

'This is why I do what I do - to challenge those stereotypes I face every day'

Province limits employers' right to ask for sick notes

Many millennials would take pay cut for employer with ESG strategy

Most Read Articles

CHRC found to have discriminated against Black, racialized workers

HR leader in Ontario placed on leave for using N-word

99% of HR leaders believe this perk inspires mass employee loyalty