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Survey reveals ESG disconnect

Published on: 6 Sep 2023

Nine in 10 professionals who specialise in ESG think a strong reporting and data collection regime will give their organisations the edge within two years.


Global cloud platform Workiva’s 2023 Global ESG Practitioner Survey reveals that 74% expect they will need to comply with two or more sets of international regulations. A total of 97% think access to technology and data will play essential roles in deciding their future ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategies.

Companies are also creating dedicated roles in this area: 71% of professionals say that three or more internal teams in their business are working on ESG reports, while 74% claim that at least one employee has been appointed to oversee specialist metrics.

However, the study, which polled 900 professionals globally, reveals a major disconnect between senior leaders and managers. Of C-suite executives, 62% strongly agree that their companies apply the same diligence to ESG as to financial reporting, compared with just 32% of frontline managers.

“It’s no secret ESG is receiving heightened attention in boardrooms or that increasingly complex frameworks, standards and regulations are presenting new challenges in ESG reporting,” said Alex Edmans, professor of finance at London Business School, who spearheaded the research.

“What struck me from the survey results is the dichotomy between practitioners of all levels agreeing they find value in ESG reporting while managers in the trenches are saying their companies are not applying the same diligence to ESG reporting as they do to financial reporting.”