A total of 60% of the business community hold a cynical view of companies’ sustainability commitments, deeming them to be a marketing exercise in either some or all cases, found a survey by research analytics company GlobalData in the first half of 2021.
Protesters carry a banner that says ‘Stop The Lies – Action Not Greenwash’ while marching outside Downing Street, September 2021. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Just 16% of individuals surveyed believe businesses are fully committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. A full 33% did not know if their company had taken action on sustainability in the past 12 months, while 28% said no and just 40% said yes.
The large proportion of 'don't knows' highlights the importance of internal communication, GlobalData says. It could also mean the number of companies not acting on sustainability is greater than the aforementioned 28%.
Companies should implement robust ESG strategies, the report recommends. Delaying action could have adverse long-term effects on a company’s performance with investors increasingly setting the pace on corporate climate action.