Survey results: companies plan to increase spending on ESG


Here’s the intro from this blog by Cooley’s Cydney Posner:

ESG backlash notwithstanding, a recent global survey conducted by KPMG of 550 company directors and members of management showed that the vast majority of global organizations plan to increase spending on sustainability initiatives over the next three years. Why?  KPMG’s US ESG Audit Leader told Bloomberg that the “key reason” at the moment for the increased interest in ESG “‘is really regulatory pressure.’ Regulations are forcing companies to ‘inject the same level of rigor into [their] sustainability reporting that is required of financial reporting….Historically, sustainability reporting has sat with a very small group of under-resourced people,’ [she said]. Now as requirements evolve, ‘the amount of effort and rigor that needs to go into reporting has changed substantially.’”

But these expenditures are not designed purely for compliance, KPMG concluded; they are also considered “a valuable tool for enhancing financial performance both now and in the future.” Nevertheless, “organizations are facing real challenges in delivering against this objective”; as KPMG observed, there seems to a “a disconnect between perception and preparedness.”

In response to the survey, 90% of respondents reported that they expected to increase their ESG investments over the next three years, with 43% increasing expenditures on dedicated ESG personnel, 40% on ESG-specific software, 38% on employee training and education and 37% on data collection and management tools. About 32% planned to invest in external consulting or advisory services.