KUALA LUMPUR: More institutions in Asia Pacific (APAC) are pursuing the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies, with over two-thirds of the 259 institutional respondents attributing COVID-19 as a driving force of ESG policies and practices in their firms, according to a survey by Citigroup Inc.

The main drivers behind the adoption of overall ESG standards included alignment to overall corporate sustainability strategy (65 per cent), positive impact on relationship with customers and stakeholders (57 per cent), and social and environmental factors (48 per cent), it said.

“Others included regulatory obligations and pre-empting broader policy and regulatory changes (42 per cent), access to funding dedicated to ESG projects (28 per cent), as well as demand and pricing impact on ESG products (22 per cent),” Citigroup said in a statement today.

According to the global banking group, a survey was conducted among 259 institutional clients in 14 markets across Asia Pacific in the first quarter of this year, with the majority of the respondents holding senior level positions in their firms — 16 per cent were chairmen, presidents or chief executive officers, 24 per cent were other C-suite executives, 26 per cent were managing directors and directors, and 28 per cent were senior vice-presidents and vice-presidents.

“The results of the survey revealed that 54 per cent of the respondents already have ESG policies and practices integrated in their organisations’ corporate strategy, while close to 90 per cent of the remaining respondents intend to roll out ESG policies and practices within five years,” it said. – Bernama

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