Our ESG Pulse Report today revealed that more than 90% of business leaders surveyed believe that Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are a moral and financial imperative but are unprepared for the upcoming reporting requirement changes.
According to the report, executives find the current ESG reporting too burdensome (90%) and say they need assistance from third parties (80%). However, while there has been an increase of ESG focus, traction, and investment over the past two years, an even greater proportion (75%) believe that ESG reporting will increase further in the next three years.
“The global ESG market outlook has gained significant traction in the past few years — and it’s still on the rise,” said Craig Clay, president of Global Capital Markets at DFIN. “Business leaders are increasingly seeking expertise, insights, and solutions to help them make informed decisions as they are developing their ESG plans and strategies. The DFIN Pulse ESG report provides our clients with the right information to better understand and gauge the ESG market, execute successfully in the ESG space, and report on those outcomes.”
ESG in the UK
Organisations in the UK have higher perceived ESG expertise overall, even if they are not quick to state that their company is outperforming others in this space. Their higher expertise may be partly attributable to having more focus placed on ESG in previous years than US counterparts.
UK companies are also much more likely to have distributed, multi-department teams tackling ESG work, leading to a less siloed ESG workforce. This effective collaboration may be why UK companies are more likely to believe ESG work will drive bottom-line value for a company. Rather than needing as much support from a reporting perspective, these companies emphasise the importance of good thought leadership.
There is much heavier users of third-party providers in the UK ESG space and respondents are more satisfied with them overall. That said, they also report lower availability of options, meaning they may feel pigeon-holed into a limited providers set.
Other Key Highlights from the ESG Pulse Report
- Plans for Reporting: While stakeholders believe that reporting leads to better decision-making and transparency, many are unsure where to begin and will seek outside support in the coming year
- Collaboration is Key: More than 80% of decision-makers who partner with third-party firms, like DFIN, to help with their ESG-related needs for technology, legal services, and consulting, found them critical to “driving organisational priorities”
- ESG Experts: 69% of business leaders considered themselves to be ESG experts and the survey showed multiple departments are involved in the process with key stakeholders being HR, finance, marketing, legal, communications and investor relations
- Eye on ESG: Teams most involved in ESG initiatives are confident about social practices and issues like inclusivity, health, safety, and diversity. Other topics like energy efficiency, carbon emissions, data protection, and security will take precedence in the next three years
Access the full DFIN ESG Pulse Report here.
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