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Business Climate Survey. Section on the Current Entrepreneurial Situation. Q1/2024

In the first quarter of 2024, business establishments in Catalonia reported that the main sustainability measures they had implemented in the previous year are social (related to working conditions and respect for human rights), in the case of 87.7% of the establishments. A total of 78.5% of establishments implemented environmental sustainability measures and 72.3% implemented corporate governance measures (related to the quality, culture and management processes of the organisations’ corporate governance).

The main social sustainability measures that the establishments reported having implemented in the previous year are occupational health and safety (appropriate material and equipment, prevention of occupational hazards, etc.) (81.6%), continuous training of workers (76.4%) and job stability (72.9%). By contrast, inclusive recruitment measures (for example of people with disabilities or at risk of exclusion) are the least implemented at 30.1%.

In terms of environmental sustainability measures, the most common is implementing improvements in the circular economy (recycling, waste recovery, etc.) (59.6%), followed by reducing water usage (52.6%) and increasing energy efficiency (improvements in building insulation; energy-efficient appliances, machinery or lighting, etc.) (50.9%).

As for corporate governance measures, the most significant are those implemented to thwart corruption (training, control mechanisms, whistleblower channel, etc.) (57.6%) and encourage the engagement of owners and workers in company decision-making (regular meetings, communication channels, etc.) (57.3%).

The main limiting factors in the implementation of environmental, social and corporate governance measures are poor support from public administration (too much bureaucracy, delays in receiving grants, insufficient information, etc.) (43.5%), as well as unclear rules, excessive regulation and no common criteria between public administrations (42.0%).

Establishments which have implemented environmental, social and corporate governance measures in the previous year say that the main benefit is enhanced branding, reputation and differentiation from competitors (76.8%), followed by other benefits such as in-company values, greater transparency, etc. (66.1%), and attracting and retaining employees and customers (62.6%).