Here is a snapshot of how 1,300 responding businesses in the Asia Pacific and Japan region have handled the evolving challenges.

In a Feb–Mar 2023 online survey of 4,750 respondents from 21 nations and 29 industries who had “the highest knowledge of their organization’s sustainability objectives and processes,” 1,300 were from five markets in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region.

Of these APJ respondents, the following trends were observed: 51% intended to increase their investments in sustainability over the next three years, up 12% since a similar survey in 2022. Also, 71% expressed a “moderate” to “strong” relationship between sustainability and their organization’s competitiveness; 68% linked sustainability with profitability.

Other APJ findings include:

    • 74% of respondents saw sustainability strategies contributing to outcomes like revenue or profit growth to a moderate or strong degree.
    • 50% expected to demonstrate a positive financial return on their sustainability investments within the next five years, compared to 61% of global respondents.
    • 36% cited difficulty proving return on investment as one of the top barriers to taking environmental action (compared to 33% of global respondents); lack of an environmental impact strategy (36%), COVID-19 uncertainty (34%), and lack of expertise (33%) were also cited as top barriers in the APJ respondents.
    • 77% saw a moderate or strong increase in the efficiency of business processes from sustainability activities.
    • 23% cited they were “completely satisfied” with the quality of the sustainability data they gathered, down from 27% last year and equaling the global mark of 23%.
    • 79% (vs 83% of global respondents) cited directly measuring energy consumption and emissions; 76% cited directly measuring resource availability (vs 79% globally), and materials use (71% vs. 76%).
    • 75% cited using sustainability data to inform strategic and operational decision-making to a moderate or strong degree, compared to 2% that did not use sustainability data in decision-making at all.
    • 72% indicated they required sustainability data from their suppliers; 69% demanded environmental impact data from partners like logistics and fulfilment.
    • 76% reported moderate or strong tracking of Scope 1 emissions; 70% cited the same tracking levels for Scope 2 emissions, and 61% for Scope 3 emissions.

According to Gina McNamara, Regional Chief Financial Officer, SAP (Asia Pacific & Japan), the firm that commissioned the survey: “If our sustainability data is not complete then the decisions we make to improve the health of our planet and our businesses are cast into doubt. The key is to record and report accurate, granular, and auditable sustainability data and integrate it with financial data to make the right business decisions.”