ESG is top of the enterprise tech agenda

Enterprises of all sizes are racing to deliver environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments, which, according to GlobalData, is no longer a tick-box ‘nice to have’ but an essential part of doing business in the twenty-first century. The global data and analytics company notes that ESG action is being driven by value and supply chains, end to end.

Robert Pritchard, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “ESG is not just noise – it is the most important macro business trend, and both enterprises and their service providers are increasingly committed.”

Mentions of ESG key words rose drastically in 2020, compared to 2019, according to GlobalData’s Filing Analytics database. In 2021, the focus was largely on environmental aspects, driven by investor pressure, the COVID-19 pandemic and changing consumer attitudes.

Pritchard continues: “Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and broader changes in the work environment such as the Big Quit, all enterprises should take ESG on board. Most are doing so already, including the small and medium enterprise (SME) segment, which comprises the majority of businesses in every geography.”

Standards and benchmarks for ESG have continued to evolve, with global events such as Glasgow’s COP26 and the upcoming COP27 (November 2022 in Egypt) driving progress.

Pritchard adds: “Over time, enterprises will increasingly be audited and regulated on ESG, as they are today on their financial accounts. Where the focus has mainly been on environmental goals to date, more focus will emerge on companies’ social commitments, accompanied by proof of best practices in governance.

“All major enterprise ICT service providers and vendors are making moves—96%* of companies in the technology sector identified that ESG was important to their decision-making in a survey by GlobalData—but customers, partners and investors will need ever more proof that initiatives are real and not just ‘green-washing’ or ‘rainbow-washing’. Measurable commitments will be vital.”