ESG investing resists geopolitical turmoil, polls show
IR Magazine ESG Integration Forum – Europe delegates insist that ESG is here to stay and anticipate even more ESG proposals emerging in the 2022 AGM season.
Participants at the hybrid in-person and virtual forum in London earlier this month were polled for their views on the increasingly holistic approach to investing being taken by global businesses.
IR magazine asked whether mounting pressures on earnings from inflation, cost of living and geopolitical disruptions in a post-pandemic recovering world would slow the ESG movement. 89% said no and only 11% said yes. Participants believed that ESG would continue to grow in importance and become a bigger issue for all stakeholders.
When IR magazine When asked if delegates expected an increase in ESG-related proposals against companies in the 2022 AGM season compared to 2021, 88% said yes and only 12% answered no. Firms fast approaching proxy season really anticipate more action from investors on ESG issues. Certain changes in the US market in particular will make it easier to vote on ESG-related shareholder proposals.
ESG goes mainstream
IR magazine asked delegates if they believe that public companies should think more holistically about the needs of their stakeholders rather than the needs of their shareholders. A very conclusive 100% said yes. The emphasis on stakeholder capitalism – the need to go beyond just focusing on shareholder value – is something that everyone continues to think of as very important and which continues to evolve as problem.
IR magazine also asked whether the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) – formed at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 – meant that ESG was going mainstream. Once again, a conclusive result, with 100% of delegates saying yes. The survey result confirms the general direction of ESG direction and suggests that the creation of the ISSB is another step in the development of more standardized ESG reporting globally.
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