Research finds that accelerating both digital and sustainability transitions assists COVID-19 crisis recovery
- Published: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 08:33
European companies that accelerate both their digital and sustainability transitions are likely to recover faster and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report from Accenture.
According to the research, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a divergence in European companies’ resilience and growth prospects:
- Half (49 percent) of European companies have been reporting revenue or profit decline for the past 12 months and don’t expect any improvement in the next 12 months.
- One-fifth (19 percent) of European companies had strong financial performance before the pandemic but now expect negative revenue or profit growth in the next 12 months. The report refers to these companies as ‘falling angels’.
- One-third (32 percent) of European companies expect to deliver profitable growth in the next 12 months. The report refers to these companies as ‘tomorrow’s leaders’.
The report indicates that companies leading in both digital adoption and sustainable practices are nearly three times more likely than other companies to be among ‘tomorrow’s leaders’, recovering faster and emerging stronger from the crisis.
“Digital transformation defined the business landscape in the 2010s, and companies that led this transformation at speed and scale won the day,” said Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe. “We are entering a decade that ushers in a new wave of business change defined by the sustainability transition. How European companies manage this ‘twin transformation’ will determine how quickly they will recover from the crisis and how well they will be positioned to sustain growth in the post-pandemic world.”
According to the research, nearly half (45 percent) of European businesses are prioritizing investment in both digital transformation and sustainability. Specifically, 40 percent of European respondents plan to make large investments in artificial intelligence, 37 percent plan to make large investments in cloud, and 31 percent are rebalancing their investments to focus more on sustainable business models.
About the research
The research is based on a survey of 4,051 C-suite executives in 13 countries across 19 industries. The survey was conducted in November 2020 and covers companies with annual revenues exceeding US$500 million.