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ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Strategy Survey 2021 - Thematic Research

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  • 54 Pages
  • January 2022
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5545983
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are the three key factors to consider when measuring a company’s sustainability. The primary goal of this survey is to shed light on the extent to which companies are setting up and implementing ESG plans. As part of the survey, 1,500 ESG leaders and executives worldwide answered our questions.

Key Highlights

  • ESG will be the critical theme impacting companies this decade, but COVID-19 is still dominating their attention in the short term. When asked to rank the themes that will impact their companies the most in the next 12 months, respondents to our survey ranked COVID-19 above ESG and well ahead of other themes like increased regulation, digital transformation, and trade disputes. A majority also said that COVID-19 has functioned as a catalyst for ESG issues. Once COVID-19 recedes or becomes endemic, ESG will be front of mind. However, we are not yet at that point.
  • There is little doubt that companies recognize the importance of ESG. Respondents to our survey said that ESG should be central to decision making, including investment decisions. Moreover, an overwhelming majority (91%) thought that companies should have targets in place to meet ESG goals. Indeed, our survey shows that most companies have changed their practices or plan to do so in the next five years to meet ESG objectives. Most also claimed that they were investing in improving their ESG performance.
  • The consensus around the importance of ESG crosses industries, but it is particularly prominent in specific fields. Sectors like packaging, mining, oil & gas, automotive, and power tend to rank higher than others in the metrics that measure ESG importance, goal setting, and investment. These sectors are among the biggest polluters and are more impacted by actions to slow down climate change.


  • This survey was designed to help understand the extent to which companies are planning and implementing ESG practices. ESG and CSR executives and leaders were asked about their company’s plans and procedures and their views on various related issues, including the importance of specific ESG factors and the impact of ESG plans on revenue.
  • The publisher received responses to its web-based survey from ESG executives and influential ESG leaders from organizations in 24 countries. The sample is weighted by national GDP to ensure that respondents’ views are fairly represented across all major countries.
  • The interviews were also spread across a range of 21 industries. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis.

Reasons to Buy

  • Sustainability used to be just about saving the planet. Today it has morphed into an umbrella term for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
  • Citizens, governments, regulators, and the media are turning the spotlight on corporations and demanding action.
  • Social inequality, corruption, tax avoidance, and a lack of action on climate change are all issues that companies must now address head-on, in full public view.
  • This survey provides an insight into the ESG strategies of companies worlwide. It captures the views of ESG leaders on subjects such as the role of ESG in decision-making and their ESG investment priorities, as well as offering insights into which areas of ESG are viewed as most important. It offers valuable insights into attitudes towards the most important theme of the decade.

Table of Contents

  • About the Publisher's ESG Strategy Survey 2021
  • Executive Summary
  • ESG Sentiment
  • ESG Investment Priorities
  • Deep Dive: Environmental Factors
  • Deep Dive: Social Factors
  • Deep Dive: Governance Factors
  • Survey Design, Demographics, and Methodology
  • Thematic Research Methodology