By: Mollye Rhea
Has the environmental, social and governance movement touched your world of cause yet? It’s one of the biggest trends shaping the future of cause partnerships we uncovered in compiling Social Impact Stats 2021, For Momentum’s annual compendium, which includes our original research plus data from over 80 respected industry reports.
Whether ESG is at the heart of your cause or an area you have yet to fully explore, it’s important to be well versed and up to date because ESG is highly popular with both consumers and corporate partners. With a little digging, you may discover new opportunities aligned with your mission. Below we delve into a few of the ESG stats we see shaping social impact in the years ahead.
The rise in corporate reporting for ESG
Companies are moving briskly toward a new focus on governance, data integrity and accountability. Almost all of them are now issuing corporate sustainability reports to consumers and about half are tracking progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. A sub-set of the 17 SDGs that many companies are now tracking include:
- #6: Clean water and sanitation
- #7: Affordable and clean energy
- #11: Sustainable cities and communities
- #12: Responsible production and consumption
- #13: Climate action
- #14: Life below water
- #15: Life on land
Here are just a few of the revealing data points from our Social Impact Stats 2021:
- Over the past decade, corporate sustainability reporting has grown from less than 20% of S&P 500 companies publishing sustainability reports to 90% in 2019.
- Of the companies that have metrics on corporate purpose, the measures they use vary from greenhouse gas emissions to number of underserved communities to volunteer participation.
- CSR practitioners are the common owners of SDG data used to measure sustainability reporting back to investors.
Environmental, social and justice is good for business
Companies of all types are finding that doing good increases profitability. Consumers want to support brands with environmental values that align with their own and corporate stakeholders are seeing a larger return when they invest in ESG and sustainable funds.
- A strong reputation and ESG perception improves the willingness to buy a company’s products by as much as 37% compared to industry rivals.
- The 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees outperformed a comparable index of large cap companies by 7.1 percentage points from January 2016 to January 2021.
- Governments, corporations and other groups raised a record $490 billion last year selling green, social and sustainability bonds. A further $347 billion poured into ESG-focused investment funds—an all-time high.
You’ll find more data points on ESG investment in Social Impact Stats 2021.
When it comes to ESG, the pandemic has made sustainability and climate change a priority
Would it surprise you to learn that ESG and COVID-19 are linked? The experience of the pandemic has made most people think twice about their impact on the environment and raise the standard of green living for themselves and the brands they purchase.
- 62% of Americans think companies have the opportunity, due to the pandemic, to be more thoughtful about how they incorporate sustainability into their business models moving forward.
- More than half (54%) of those surveyed across the world believe it’s more important to reduce their own carbon footprint since COVID-19.
- Four out of five young people said that given environmental impacts resulting from responses to the pandemic, both business and governments should make even greater efforts to protect the environment.
To learn more about ESG trends, download Social Impact Stats 2021 and let us know what you think. We’re always here to share ideas that can help you evolve your campaigns in line with the latest trends.