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Sustainability in Africa: PwC ESG Research Findings

November 3, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

How are some African companies developing and implementing ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategies? A recent report from PwC Africa -- titled Africa Business Agenda: ESG Perspective 2023 -- offers some key takeaways.

The survey involved 282 sub-Saharan African CEOs who participated in PwC’s 26th Annual Global CEO Survey. Among the findings to note, according to PwC Africa:

  1. Social Inequality: Some 46% of sub-Saharan African business leaders surveyed said they expect their companies to face moderate, high or extremely high exposure to threats stemming from social inequality over the next 12 months, compared to just 26% globally. This includes concern about social and political instability. CEOs in Southern Africa are the most concerned about social risk, with two out of three (67%) seeing exposure to threats stemming from social inequality.
  2. Climate risk: Some 52% of sub-Saharan African companies surveyed expect a moderate, large or very large impact from climate risk on their cost profile over the next 12 months, compared to 50% globally. These costs include insurance liabilities and financial outlays to comply with new regulations. 
  3. Lack of Data: Only 50% of sub-Saharan African companies surveyed are working on or have implemented a data-driven, enterprise-level strategy for reducing emissions and mitigating climate risks, compared to 65% globally. Moreover, one in four (23%) CEOs in sub-Saharan Africa indicated that they do not plan to do this at all.

For its part, PwC is working on sustainability projects worldwide -- including engagements with the Cayman Islands, Workiva, European companies, and Microsoft.

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