Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar, partnered with Harvard Business Review to conduct survey-led research into issues around the adoption of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and try to understand just how businesses are implementing ESG strategies.
The report, Reaping Returns on Environmental, Social and Governance Investments, which surveyed 249 executives from global businesses across a range of industries, found that interest in ESG adoption is strong, with 83 percent of respondents indicating that their organization will increase investment in ESG initiatives over the next 12 months. While only 9 percent of respondents said they have already seen a financial return on their ESG investment, most organizations believe this will lead to future financial benefits, with 22 percent saying they will see this within a year, although 41 percent said it would take two to five years.
According to the report, “strong tailwinds of change are encouraging organizations to assume greater corporate responsibility for their impact on the world’s natural resources, the well-being of employees, and ethical decision making in the boardroom.” However, developing an ESG strategy, one that evaluates and addresses issues that affect an organization’s operations and practices – and potentially its value – is still proving challenging, with 27 percent of respondents indicating that they have yet to put a formal ESG strategy in place, and 10 percent saying they are not currently working on improving their ESG performance.
To support the research, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week recently hosted Alex Clemente, Founding Managing Director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services who examined the report findings and discussed ESG in more detail. Moderated by Zainab Al Ali, Head of Outreach and Stakeholder Relations at Masdar, the virtual session can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebzyckDlASk
More information on the topic of ESG, including the full Harvard Business Review report can be found at adsw.ae.