17 November, 2023
ESG has received some push back recently, with queries over whether it really adds value to businesses. However, research from Investec shows the danger of under-valuing sustainability strategies for mid-size businesses, and especially when it comes to Net Zero commitments, those suppliers that cannot keep up will lose business and investors. In other words, it pays to be a responsible business! We won’t say we told you so…
So, what are the stats? Well 70% of companies surveyed were already implementing sustainability strategies, with the vast majority seeing revenue growth as a result. Of those implementing sustainability, benefits cited are improved brand reputation (44%), operational improvements and efficiencies (39%) and a stronger risk management strategy (37%). This isn’t a surprise; we are constantly advocating for businesses to implement green strategies that make sense for them and their customers.
And how will it impact investment over time? Well, large UK banks who have Net Zero pledges are going to increasingly direct financing towards greener companies to help them reach their own commitments. This means that by having sustainability strategies and effectively implementing them you are likely to be increasingly attractive to investors – one survey found that 93% of UK-based lenders expect sustainability– related lending to increase in the next few years. Not only this, but in PwC’s 2022 Global Investor survey, it was found that more than 25% of investors would accept a lower rate of return for companies which provided a positive impact to society or the environment.
Although we would argue they won’t have to – because purpose and profit go hand in hand, rather than one coming at the expense of the other. And the results of this survey are further evidence that it is so.
By Anna Heis