Strategic Focus: Organizations And The Rise Of ESG

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Executive Summary

A growing number of firms are taking steps to improve their ESG and sustainability performance, setting ambitious goals and ensuring alignment with standards and frameworks. However, recent greenwashing accusations illustrate the gap between ESG commitments and action, and showcase firms’ limited integration of ESG principles into business operations. In this light, this report offers an overview of firms’ diverse ESG strategies and the organizational challenges holding back ESG and sustainability progress. Our study provides seven recommendations to help firms embed ESG into their businesses, to drive long-term value generation.

Table of contents

ESG Rises In Importance, But There Is Still Space For Further Integration
Firms' Approaches To ESG Range From Compliance To Leadership
ESG Integration Faces Data, Skills And Organizational Challenges
Seven Steps To Integrate ESG And Ensure Sustainable Business Value Creation

Table of figures

Figure 1. Drivers Behind Increased Commitment To ESG And Sustainability
Figure 2. ESG Maturity Framework  
Figure 3. Executive Moves Into ESG And Sustainability-Related Positions
Figure 4. Decision-Makers Responsible For Funding ESG Strategies
Figure 5. Seven Actions To Strengthen ESG Integration

About the authors

Elisa Molero

Industry Analyst
Elisa Molero is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. Her current research agenda focuses on emerging solutions and global market trends around supply chain sustainability. Her background is in Economics, Leadership and Governance (BSc, University of Navarra). Prior to joining Verdantix, Elisa worked as a research analyst at the Centre For Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, where she completed a Master’s degree in Global Politics, with Distinction.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability
Kimberly Knickle is Research Director of the ESG & Sustainability practice at Verdantix. Her research areas encompass ESG regulations and reporting, ESG risk, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact, and sustainable finance. Kim has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry, providing research and analysis to help companies invest wisely in new technologies. Before joining the analyst industry, she held various roles in IT services, engineering and product safety testing, beginning her career at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Kim holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

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