A recent survey of over 6,000 public and private sector leaders in 21 countries reveals strong confidence in sustainable growth opportunities during 2015.

The Global Opportunity Report from DNV GL, UN Global Compact and Monday Morning Global Institute / Sustainia identifies five major global risks — the lack of freshwater, unsustainable urbanization, continued dependence on fossil fuels, the rise in noncommunicable diseases, and extreme weather — that respondents say can be turned into 15 sustainability opportunities.

The opportunities include investments in resilience, advancements in water-efficient agriculture, enhanced data analytics for smart cities and increased use of distributed renewable energy.  The report goes on to mention 120 specific and readily available solutions within these 15 areas of opportunity.

Among the topics covered by the survey, respondents said addressing water risk and scarcity presented the greatest chance for near-term success. Specifically, 37 percent of the leaders responding viewed improvements in water-efficient agriculture as the most likely opportunity to be seized upon over the coming year.

According to a news release accompanying the report’s release earlier this week, 48 percent of respondents from China were highly confident that sustainability opportunities would be acted upon in 2015. Indians (44 percent) and South Americans (37 percent) were second and third most optimistic, respectively, whereas Europeans (23 percent positive response rate) where still concerned with continued unsustainable growth on a global scale.