Businesses that lead on climate and sustainability will have tailwinds at their back, says Rich Lesser, BCG’s global chair. Reaching net zero will require investments of $3 trillion to $5 trillion per year for the next 30 years—and it is much smarter to participate in this massive industrial transformation than to fight it. To succeed, businesses will need to engage deeply with other businesses, their customers, and governments. The challenge is too large to go it alone or to view government as an impediment. For businesses that want to do the right thing, Lesser says, “getting government policies that raise the standard for everyone is in their interest.” Lesser also talks about his own evolution in understanding the climate crisis, how purpose can drive performance, and why the job of CEO today is harder but more rewarding than it was a decade ago.
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