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The CEOs of Canadian publicly traded companies are far more focused on social issues than they used to be, according to a survey from KPMG.

KPMG’s latest Global CEO Outlook pulse survey found that 100% of Canadian CEOs are now focused on the social aspect of their companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices — up from 64% six months earlier.

Many CEOs have been thinking about their “corporate purpose” when it comes to responding to the pandemic, according to the survey.

KPMG found that 80% of CEOs said their corporate purpose helped them understand what they had to do to meet the needs of stakeholders during the pandemic. Sixty per cent used their corporate purpose as a guide to their pandemic response with employees, customers, suppliers, investors and the public at large.

These findings are consistent with a report from S&P Global Ratings, which concluded that Covid-19 has accelerated a shift to “stakeholder capitalism.”

The KPMG survey also found that CEOs are more optimistic about Canada’s economic prospects than they were six months earlier.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents said they were confident about Canada’s three-year growth prospects, up from only 48% six months earlier. Eighty-six per cent were confident about their own companies’ growth prospects, predicting annual growth of 2.5%.

KPMG surveyed nearly 1,300 international CEOs in January and February of last year and followed up with a “pulse survey” of 315 chief executives in July and August to see how their opinions had changed during the pandemic. For further insights, see KPMG’s report.