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2022 ESG & Sustainability Global Survey Reveals Investments To Survive The Regulatory Storm

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2022 ESG & Sustainability Global Survey Reveals Investments To Survive The Regulatory Storm

This year’s Verdantix ESG Global Corporate Survey has been published, enabling ESG and sustainability executives to benchmark their firms’ budgets, investment priorities and technology preferences, and for technologies providers and sustainability consulting to make business planning decisions. Verdantix interviewed 400 leading corporate ESG and sustainability senior executives across 35 countries and 30 industries. The 2022 survey explores drivers of commitment to ESG and sustainability issues, decision-makers for strategy defining and funding, technology and services funding priorities in 2023 and technology preferences for a number of ESG and sustainability use cases.

This year, major drivers of ESG and sustainability commitment and funding were the upcoming ESG and sustainability mandatory disclosure rules. TCFD-aligned rules, such as those proposed by the SEC in the US and the CSRD in the EU, will impact a large number of firms across different industries and geographies, and were indicated as top three priority in increase in spend by 63% of respondents. Despite the growing importance of mandatory ESG and sustainability rules, voluntary sustainability reporting is still a high priority for funding in the next two years, as firms prepare for more stringent regulations. 

Compared to last year’s results, CSOs are becoming increasingly influential in defining and funding the ESG and Sustainability strategy, while CEOs are still important contributors, and their vision for ESG and sustainability is a top driver for commitment. CFOs’ influence in ESG and sustainability matters is higher than 2021. With the increasing integration of financial and sustainability reporting, and the need to generate investor-grade data, the Finance department influences and implements the ESG and sustainability strategy, while the EHS business function still retains a defining role. 

Three categories of software emerged as priorities for spend increases. Carbon emissions and reporting, climate physical risk and supply chain sustainability software will see increased corporate spending, as 2023 will see a shift from spreadsheet (still largely used to date) to data collection software for several ESG and sustainability use cases. The regulatory, reputational and investor pressure on corporates to collect high quality and auditable data is ramping up and will drive technology spend in the short and long term. The need for investor grade data is absolutely critical, and firms need to ensure they are ready for the transition.

To learn more about budgets, priorities and tech preference in ESG and sustainability, read the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability Global Corporate Survey report. Additionally, you can find the recording of our related webinar here

 
Analyst

Alessandra Leggieri is a research analyst specialised in ESG & Sustainability. Her background is in Biology (BSc Imperial College London), with a focus on Environmental Sciences. Prior to joining Verdantix she completed a Master's degree in Environmental Technology with Distinction. Her thesis project looked at biodiversity-friendly pest management decisions in communal gardens, which involved a collaboration with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She has experience with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, using R and NVivo.