ESG: asset managers with clear mandate on strategy do best

Pragma Consulting recently conducted a survey focused on ESG reporting. The objective was to obtain the views of key stakeholders around the world in order to understand the approach to reporting and sustainability strategy within their organisations, Pragma CEO Alex Avery explained.  

Among the themes that Pragma identified was that ESG reporting is still not prioritised as strongly as it should be. A number of respondents believed that ESG should have a higher priority within their organisations, demonstrating a disconnect between “the chatter” and emphasis for positioning, and the reality of how much priority it is given.

“There is is definitely still a gap between what people believe that it should be, relative to where it is,” he added.

Pragma also asked the extent to which respondents felt that stronger ESG reporting would be beneficial to their companies. Over 80% agreed that it is important and would help provide context on where organisations sit, and what can be done to improve performance.

“We also asked how frequently people actually do report on ESG metrics. Around 70% of respondents stated they report on ESG less frequently than weekly,” he said. “Again, with a number of these competing components being very dynamic the importance of regular tracking and updating seems to be an aspect that would help decision making on asset management and strategy.”

Avery said that to some extent, more frequent ESG reporting is being forced upon companies. “Consumers are becoming more responsive to the transparency related to ESG and a brand or retailer’s position. They are making choices based on the level of transparency.”

Avery said there are different levels of maturity or understanding in different parts of the world, both from a consumer’s perspective and what they consider important and in terms of regulational structure.

In terms of best practice, asset managers with a clear mandate on strategy that works through to every level of an organisation are typically the ones excelling, Avery said.

Similarly, more consumer-facing brands with a high degree of transparency and clarity are the ones having a greater impact.

Knowledge sharing and transparency in terms of helping peers in their industry understand best practice and how things can be enhanced and new components such as B Corp accreditation can also help to make a positive impact and improve underlying profitability.

Please click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.