Financial factors no longer serve as the sole prism to view a company's viability. Customers and consumers today resonate highly with organisations that align their values with their business goals, resulting in greater returns for those who execute their sustainability goals. It's no wonder climate change and financial inclusion are high on the agenda of investors and executives focused on long-term achievements and realistic forecasted results.
“In the next 12 months, fourteen per cent of commercial businesses plan to take out financially sustainable solutions.”- RFi Insight
Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) continues to steadily climb up the regulatory agenda, requiring sustainability needs to become a strategic priority for finance leaders. In the next 12 months, fourteen per cent of commercial businesses plan to take out financially sustainable solutions. What can leaders do today to ensure they can meet the demands of the ESG factors that will most certainly hold prominence tomorrow?
Adopting ESG is business-critical in the strife of a clean and sustainable economy. Finance leaders already play a balancing act, juggling business expectations and risk management, now they must add ESG credentials to the list. The global pandemic not only heightened awareness of how interconnected we are but also emphasised the importance of integrity. ESG provides the framework for companies to outline their core values and align their business models with the broader demands of society and the environment.
The past year's acceleration to digital transformation also may have resulted in slightly turning the lever on sustainability. This steady shift from digital to what may start to become recognised as the green transformation has seen global commercial businesses rapidly shift focus to embedding sustainable factors in their operations, products, and services. This is true in all sectors including financial services with those failing to align falling behind more ambitious competitors.
In the coming years, sustainable investing will only grow stronger, as environmental, social, and governmental issues come to the fore for both investors and businesses. To stay ahead of the curve, remaining proactive and not reactive in implementing this new wave of transformation is crucial. With business leaders wanting to behave more ethically, forward-thinking finance leaders need to future-proof their strategies, applying an insight-led approach, act now, and start leveraging ESG opportunities. The economy depends on it.