Energy Leaders Focus on Talent, Technology as Uncertainty Continues: KPMG
Leaders of the world’s largest energy sector businesses are focusing their investments on talent and technology as the industry faces continued uncertainty from COVID-19 and the climate crisis, finds KPMG in its new research.
October 07, 2021. By Manu Tayal
As part of KPMG’s 2021 CEO Outlook Energy Perspectives, 133 global energy leaders were asked about their strategies and outlook over a 3-year horizon.
The latest survey reveals an industry that remains resilient and focused on long-term, sustainable growth, despite facing an uncertain future and witnessing a period of rapid transition.
With COP26 a matter of weeks away, the latest survey findings reveal energy CEOs are increasingly concerned about both climate risk and an emerging talent crisis within their sector.
Climate change risk continues to be the top threat for energy leaders, with 37% of energy CEOs choosing it as their top risk category as it relates to their organization’s growth. This was substantially higher than any other industry surveyed, the report added.
Meanwhile, 63 per cent of CEOs report the lion’s share of demand pressure stemming from investors and regulators for increased reporting and transparency on ESG issues today, and 27 per cent say their top operational priority will be ensuring ESG reporting is integrated into their future measurement and reporting processes. 84 per cent said they want to lock in the sustainability and climate change gains they’ve made as a result of the crisis.
The ‘war for talent’ emerged front and center for energy CEOs as a top operational priority, with 29 per cent highlighting attracting and retaining talent, as key to achieving their growth objectives over the next three years. Attracting and retaining talent also appears to be driving up recruitment, with 86 per cent of energy leaders planning to increase their headcount over the same period.
Commenting on the matter, Regina Mayor, KPMG’s Global Head of Energy & Natural Resources, said, “in a matter of weeks, all eyes will be on Glasgow as the world’s political leaders gather to decide what action should be taken to tackle the vast challenge of decarbonizing the planet. For the energy sector, it means more prolonged uncertainty. The vast majority of the industry’s leaders (79%) believe world leaders must inject the necessary urgency in the climate agenda when they meet for COP26. The industry has taken more than its share of pain throughout the pandemic, with a plunge in demand for oil and profound operational challenges. Many energy businesses have been at the forefront of driving forward the energy transition and they’re fully behind a shift towards a more robust energy mix that sees a larger share of renewable energies. But the potential for significant, bold political action is naturally creating more uncertainty at a time when the sector is working to rebuild and rebound.”
“The energy industry is truly at a crossroads at this time. Climate concerns are occupying all minds across the world and the energy sector is the centre of attention. It is a very delicate situation since the growing energy needs require continued investments in all forms of energy to serve demand. While climate concerns are paramount as they should be, escalating energy prices is coming to be a huge concern. The energy industry needs a compelling narrative to attract investments and talent and also modernize the sector rapidly through digitalization,” said Anish De, Partner and National Head - Energy Natural Resources and Chemicals, KPMG in India.
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