Verdantix Global Survey Reveals Strategic Priorities For ESG And Sustainability Executives
London – September 30, 2021. Independent research firm Verdantix has released its global survey of senior executives responsible for ESG and sustainability to examine their firms’ governance, strategies and priorities relating to technology and services. The survey respondents – senior executives, holding SVP, VP and global head of functions roles, and directors and managerial professionals – reveal that firms are ramping up investments in ESG and sustainability, with 57% predicting double-digit spend increases in 2022, and are prioritizing funding initiatives relating to climate change and supply chain sustainability.
“Firms across the globe are grappling with the developing demands of ESG and sustainability and are scheduling significant investments into ESG initiatives in 2022” commented Verdantix analyst and author of the report Connor Taylor. “Firms are being pushed to act by a developing regulatory landscape and stakeholder pressure that they can no longer avoid. ESG is now a priority for the C-suite.”
Key findings of the Verdantix ‘Global Corporate Survey: ESG And Sustainability Governance, Strategies And Priorities’ report:
According to 43% of our survey participants, the pandemic was a tipping point for CEO attitudes towards ESG, with a further 26% stating that ESG was now a top three priority for CEOs.According to 43% of our survey participants, the pandemic was a tipping point for CEO attitudes towards ESG, with a further 26% stating that ESG was now a top three priority for CEOs.
Climate change policy development has emerged as the most significant driver for increasing corporate engagement with sustainability issues in the last 12 months
Executives are making improving supply chain sustainability metrics their number one priority over the next two years (25% of respondents), followed by analysis of climate change risk to physical assets (22%), enhancing ESG scores with ratings agencies (19%), strengthening governance performance metrics (13%), and upgrading environmental management capabilities (11%).
High priority digital projects to receive funding over the next two years include improving IT systems for environmental performance and metrics (51% of respondents), improving IT systems for governance performance and metrics (49%), and improving IT systems for social performance and governance (46%).
CEOs emerged as the most involved decision-makers for sustainability strategy definition and are now responsible for ESG performance.
Survey respondents identified ESG data dispersity and complexity as the most significant barrier to improving ESG and sustainability data (31%), closely followed by lack of clarity on reporting standards (30%).
“Our study reveals that firms are anxiously awaiting to see how the ESG landscape evolves in the near future. Investment is already skyrocketing; changes in regulation could see spending increase astronomically,” Continued Taylor. ‘The ramifications this has for ESG solutions and services providers is substantial, and the question remains; who will best align their offerings to fit this developing market?”