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Corporate management and boards should prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects. A public stance on ESG topics was once considered a PR strategy. However, in today’s fast-changing market environment, a focus on ESG factors is becoming increasingly crucial for long-term market leadership.
Significant investment managers are aware of this and have made it clear that they want businesses in which they spend to be constructive in their ESG policies and communications.
The benefits of proactively addressing ESG concerns extend beyond trying to please institutional investors and building a positive public image. A well-designed ESG program may provide access to multiple sources of capital.
Strong ESG Initiatives Attract Capital
Financial institutions are putting large sums of money into diligent companies in governing and operating sustainably and responsibly.
Sustainable and impact investing are experiencing double-digit growth. Many investment managers are now using ESG assessments in their investment risk assessments, indicating that resources will remain open to businesses with good ESG strategies and initiatives.
ESG Programs Help Gaining a Competitive Advantage
Businesses that understand the value of adjusting through socio-economic and environmental trends are better positioned to spot business opportunities and tackle global competition.
Proactive ESG policies will help a business gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Execs who aim to change working standards, diversify their teams, grant back to their communities, and advocate for environmentally friendly policies help to reinforce the corporate reputation.
Pragmatic Approach to ESG Issues will Deter Activists
Activists have long attacked managers and directors that ignore a constructive stance on potential environmental or social issues in proxy contests and campaigns against businesses. Still, they specifically target management teams and boards that fail to take a proactive stance on perceived social or environmental concerns.
Companies that take a constructive approach to ESG issues will establish a reputation for the entire sector while also helping to protect themselves from activist interference.
Productive Investors Support ESG Companies
ESG shareholders are long-term thinkers who care more about what happens in the next decade than those who think of the next quarter; they recognize that progress takes a while.
Investors who include ESG in their mandate often work with a business to improve it, as they are more interested in creating long-term value over time rather than flipping the stock for a “sugar high” in the short term.
ESG practices become essential as people are more concerned that the organizations they work for (and the businesses they support) place a high emphasis on society and the environment.