I have been talking about sustainability, climate change, and ESG (environmental, social, and governance) for several years now—and now it is all coming to a point where individuals and businesses alike are also beginning to talk about it as well. In fact, many people around the world recognize climate change is a top concern in all geographies. But not surprising, these terms mean different things to different people and different companies and so is adoption levels.
A research report reinforces this messaging and so much more. AXA’s ninth edition of its Future Risks Report studies the evolution of perceptions of emerging risks tells the tale of the tape. It is based on responses from 4,500 risk experts from 58 countries and a representative sample of 20,000 people from 15 countries.
The survey reveals for the first time, climate risk tops concerns in all regions of the world, including the United States, followed by geopolitical risk. What is the most pressing is that 95% of the experts surveyed expect geopolitical tensions to persist and spread throughout the world. Cyber and pandemic worries follow behind.
Economic risks are increasing and fueling social tensions. For the first time, experts rank three economic risks in their top 10: financial instability, macroeconomic deterioration, and monetary and fiscal stress. Inflation is becoming an important concern for both experts and the public.
Last year, experts here in the states ranked cyber as the top risk and Asian experts ranked pandemic risk second. It seems in the past 12 months concerns have changes, and climate change now tops the list.
Interestingly, confidence in certain categories of decision-makers to find solutions is worsening, particularly regarding public authorities (58% vs. 62% in 2021), private companies (45% vs. 47% in 2021) and even scientists (66% vs. 75% in 2021). This general trend can be explained by the fact that the public believes that the level of preparation of public authorities for certain risks—such as climate change, cyber, or geopolitical tensions—is insufficient.
In the general population, the overall feeling of vulnerability remains at a very high level—and is even increasing in the face of certain risks such as climate change and the energy crisis.
This is precisely the reason why we created the Living Lab, so we can demonstrate how small changes in our everyday lives can make a big difference. The project is designed to be a model for sustainable, resilient, and efficient residential homebuilding practices. We need to demonstrate energy conservation and the benefits of smart-home products and how they play a critical role in achieving those goals.
If we all make small changes both at home and in business, it can add up to big changes all around the world. But we must start somewhere if we ever intend to have an impact on rising energy costs and food, and ultimately moving the needle on our overall waste of consumption.
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