Global Corporate Survey: ESG And Sustainability Governance, Strategies And Priorities

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Executive Summary

This report, based on a global survey of 400 respondents, assists senior executives in benchmarking their firms’ ESG and sustainability governance, strategies and priorities against industry peers. It should be leveraged by ESG and sustainability software suppliers and services providers to align business and product strategy with market demand and priority areas of interest. The data were gathered via telephone interviews with executives from across 30 industries and diverse geographies between May and July 2021. The survey highlights 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. Concurrently, the report finds that CEOs now play a leading role in defining corporate ESG and sustainability strategies.

Table of contents

Global Survey Reveals Strategic Priorities For ESG And Sustainability Executives 
Global Survey Features 400 Executives Across Geographies And Industries

ESG And Sustainability Governance Now Top Of Mind For Senior Executives 
Firms Are Embedding ESG And Sustainability Into Strategic Business Decisions
Climate Change Policy And Investor Interest Are Driving Corporate Engagement With Sustainability

CEOs Are Spearheading Plans To Embed Sustainability In Organizations 
The C-Suite Now Play A Significant Role In Defining Sustainability Strategies
Sustainability Strategies Are Implemented By EHS Functions, With Support From Across The Organization

Firms Anticipate Significant Increases In ESG And Sustainability Budgets 
ESG Budgets Are Set To Expand Rapidly In 2022
Climate Change And Supply Chain Concerns To Shape ESG And Sustainability Investment
ESG Spend Is Highly Contingent On Developing Market Factors

Table of figures

Figure 1. Survey Respondent Firm Size Breakdown 
Figure 2. Survey Respondent Geographical Breakdown 
Figure 3. Survey Respondent Industry Breakdown 
Figure 4. ESG And Sustainability Perspectives 
Figure 5. ESG And Sustainability Strategies 
Figure 6. Drivers Responsible For Increasing Engagement With Sustainability 
Figure 7. Decision-Makers Responsible For ESG Strategy Implementation 
Figure 8. Decision-Makers Responsible For Funding ESG Strategies 
Figure 9. Business Functions Responsible For Implementing ESG Strategies 
Figure 10. Projected ESG And Sustainability Investment In 2022 
Figure 11. Priority Sustainability Initiatives To Receive Funding Over The Next Two Years 
Figure 12. Projected Spend Change On Professional Services Projects In 2022 
Figure 13. Priority Digital Projects To Receive Funding Over The Next Two Years 
Figure 14. Priority Performance Areas For Consulting Projects 
Figure 15. ESG And Sustainability Data Barriers 
Figure 16. ESG And Sustainability Corporate Software Supplier Preferences 
Figure 17. Digital Strategies For ESG, Climate Change And Sustainability 
Figure 18. Potential Factors Impacting Spend On Sustainability Initiatives 

About the authors

Connor Taylor

Industry Analyst
Connor is an Industry Analyst in the ESG & Sustainability practice. His current research agenda focuses on emerging software solutions across financial markets, and broader market trends in the ESG space. Connor joined Verdantix in 2021 and has experience in EHS technology sales and development. He holds a B.A from Cambridge University in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability

Kim leads the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice, addressing business challenges and priorities in ESG and sustainability through technology and services. Her current research agenda focuses on ESG regulatory and market drivers, sustainability reporting, risk management, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact.  Knickle 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.  Knickle holds a MBA from Boston University and a BS in electrical engineering from Cornell.

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