Four-fifths of organisations view sustainable values as important, poll finds

London, 23rd March 2020 – 78% of organisations believe that sustainable values are very important to their community according to our poll in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries. An additional 22% consider that sustainability is slightly important and no organisations feeling that it is unimportant.

Employers demonstrate social responsibility in a number of ways, with the top three choices being anti-corruption procedures, health and safety records and impact on the local community.

  • Anti-corruption procedures (89%)
  • Health and safety records (85%)
  • Impact on the local community (83%)
  • Modern slavery risks (77%)
  • Freedom of association (17%).

On a scale of one to ten, the majority of respondents consider that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are well established in their company, with 77% choosing scores between six and ten. Just 1% of respondents believe that ESG factors are not at all integrated in their company.

Commenting on the results, Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute says:

“The ways in which companies are tackling ESG are numerous and varied. While one company might be looking at environmentally friendly construction, another might have policies on diversity, environmental conservation and human rights. It very much depends on the sector within which the organisation is operating and the individual circumstances of the organisation. Treating staff, customers and suppliers fairly is clearly one of the best ways in which a company can demonstrate that it is taking its social responsibilities seriously and it is encouraging that at least one respondent flagged this as being the way in which their employer demonstrates social responsibility. It is equally pleasing that one respondent stated that ‘sustainability has been placed at the forefront of our company’s strategy for a number of years, with many deliveries of our 2020 targets and further more commitments (net zero GHG by 2040 and water neutrality by 2040, etc) ESG considerations are two pillars to the company’s strategy’.”  

When asked how an ESG assessment framework would improve their workplace, respondents said the biggest advantage would be staff motivation, with 60% of respondents choosing this option over better customer engagement and greener offices, both of which were selected by 57%. Improved relationship with suppliers and a more productive workplace were also cited as reasons at 51% and 30% respectively.

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