ESG: Environmental and social issues lead

Fresh ISS ESG analysis has shed light on the most captivating environmental, social, and corporate governance topics that captured the corporate world’s attention in the final quarter of 2022. The focus on water conservation and biodiversity protection was particularly strong, while attention towards gender equality and labour rights also grew substantially. Unfortunately however corruption remains largely neglected as a subject for businesses seeking greater ESG alignment in their practices.

Growth in the face of backlash

As ‘mission-oriented’ investments have surged into the political arena, a House of Representatives resolution was passed on March 1 that sought to overturn ESG investment regulations set forth by the Department of Labor. Despite President Biden’s veto promise, and Republican derision against what they consider ‘woke capitalism,’ ISS ESG reports an ongoing interest in sustainable investing through to the end of 2022. 

Globally, businesses are steadily embracing ESG investing, spanning across continents with 43% in Asia, 36% in North America, and 18% in Europe. 

Environmental and social issues remain at the forefront, garnering 51% and 46% of investor engagement respectively, while governance topics trail behind at a mere 3%. Gender equality takes the spotlight at 19%, followed by labour rights at 16%. Investors equally value water and biodiversity, both receiving 14%, while environmental norms hold their own at 12%. Net-zero and human rights tie closely at 11% interest, leaving corruption as the least prioritised issue with a mere 3%.

Managing engagement made easy

ESG engagement has become a critical part of responsible investing. It goes beyond box-ticking and meeting regulatory requirements. Engaging with companies on environmental, social, and governance issues helps to drive positive change, create long-term value, and mitigate risks. As an asset manager or stewardship service provider, you need a solution that can help you manage this engagement effectively across your portfolio companies. SI Engage offers just that: a flexible and collaborative platform that streamlines the ESG engagement process, enables you to track progress, and helps you communicate effectively with stakeholders. By using SI Engage, you can take the necessary steps to improve ESG performance in your portfolio and support a more sustainable future. Get in touch to find out more!


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