Two-thirds of companies in favour of more transparent ESG reporting and disclosures

London, 24 March 2021 – According to our poll, carried out in collaboration with the ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, 73% of companies think that there should be more transparent reporting and disclosures about environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. Just 16% of organisations polled are against this and an additional 11% are unsure.  

Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director at the Institute says:

“ESG has been driven higher up the boardroom agenda by the circumstances of the last year and many organisations are now focusing on environmental, social and governance issues. Just over half (56%) of companies have a separate department for ESG, while responsibility for ESG falls to the company secretarial function at a further 34%. In addition, almost a third (30%) of the organisations polled have an ESG Committee. However, some respondents still feel that ESG is not high enough on the board’s agenda and that it is seen as a stand-alone issue rather than linked to the company’s strategy and objectives.

“Where governance professionals are leading on ESG, the majority (52%) have not encountered challenges introducing ESG reporting to the board, although 18% have. The main challenges seem to relate to being able to pull together all of the strands that correlate to ESG to get a clear, central view of ESG across an organisation. It is difficult to get detailed, trackable measures to report against.”

The results of this poll also show that there is an appetite for bonuses to be linked to ESG-related metrics with many respondents answering yes when questioned about this. One respondent said: ‘Yes. Everyone should be informed of the impact of their decisions and how they affect various stakeholders and the external environment, and they should seek out opportunities to be more sustainable in financial, environmental and in people terms.’ As another pointed out, ‘History has repeatedly demonstrated that where metrics are lined to executive remuneration, progress on those metrics is made much faster and can also be of a much better quality’.

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