Return on investment in ESG only after 3-5 years? CEOs think so, but they implement these practices anyway (SURVEY)

Luc Williams

Nearly 80% of companies have implemented social, environmental and corporate governance (ESG) practices in their operations. CEOs of the largest companies from Poland, according to the “KPMG CEO Outlook” report. At the same time, most of them (76%) believe that it takes 3 to 5 years to see the return on ESG investment.

“In a research KPMG half the largest CEOs companies admitted that their current progress in terms of ESG are not sufficient to be fully prepared for potential scrutiny from stakeholders or shareholders. This is a pessimistic statistic, considering the fact that soon the entire group of companies taken into account in the study may face serious consequences as a result of new regulations related to the certification of non-financial reports,” we read in the release.

What are the main negative factors?

Among the main negative effects resulting from failure to meet stakeholder expectations in relation to declarations in the ESG area, respondents from Poland point to higher costs and difficulties in obtaining financing. Next are concerns about extending the current term of office of the management board and difficulties with maintaining an appropriate level of commitment among current employees and recruiting candidates.

“The future requires companies to engage in ESG goals at a deep, authentic level. It is not only a requirement from society and regulations, but above all an opportunity to create real, lasting value for companies and their stakeholders. The key now is to transform the current status quo into activities and using them as an incentive to build sustainable business strategies,” she emphasized Justyna Wysocka-GolecAssociate Partner, leader of the ESG, Decarbonization and Biodiversity Team in the Consulting Department at KPMG in Poland, quoted in the release.

Diversity is hot?

8 out of 10 people managing the largest companies in Poland believe that over the next three years we will see an increasing level of scrutiny of the organization’s diversity performance. The majority of surveyed CEOs from Poland admit that achieving diversity in the workplace requires changes in leadership at a higher level and confirm that achieving gender equality in management will help them realize their growth ambitions. As part of activities related to social programs, 68 percent CEOs from Poland participating in the KPMG survey confirm investing in a number of programs consistent with the core values ​​shared around the world.

Climate goals remain a challenge

CEOs participating in the survey realize they need to step up their efforts to transition to carbon neutrality. For the biggest obstacles to achieving zero emissions or similar climate goals CEOs from Poland believe that there is a lack of appropriate technological solutions (60 percent of responses). Compared to the previous edition of the study, this percentage is more than twice as high, it was also indicated.

“There is a visible change in perception level of knowledge and staff skills in implementing appropriate solutions related to the implementation of the set climate goals. In the previous edition of the study, this obstacle was indicated by the largest number of respondents from Poland, and this year it is one of the three least frequently chosen answers. At the same time, survey respondents emphasize the positive impact of ESG strategies on various areas of company operation. According to Polish respondents, the most important role of ESG is and will be played in the employee context. “32% of respondents indicated the positive impact of ESG strategies on attracting representatives of the new generation to work, and 28% on strengthening employee engagement and increasing the employee value proposition (EVP),” it concluded.

The report discusses the results of the Polish version of the survey conducted among managers of the largest companies in Poland (25), which are compared with the responses of leaders from the so-called Core Countries (1,325).



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