ESG survey reveals companies remain keen to engage

Despite speculation and allegations of greenwashing or ESG fatigue among investment companies, most firms remain keen to improve their sustainability efforts, according to a survey.

Fidelity International’s annual ESG survey found that 43% of analysts surveyed believe companies have a credible net zero goal for 2050.

It also found that regulation, government support and shareholder action top areas expected to spur improvements in companies’ environmental practices.

Globally, Fidelity’s analysts reported 68% of companies they cover have been responsive to their engagement efforts over the past 12 months.

Companies in Japan led the pack with 89% keen to engage in the last year, followed by EMEA / Latin America (83%) and Asia Pacific, ex China, ex Japan (71%).

Jenn-Hui Tan, chief sustainability officer at Fidelity International, said: “While companies may be lagging on their transition plans, there is growing awareness of the threats posed by a warming climate and deteriorating ecosystems, providing companies with a strong incentive to stay engaged.

“Despite an openness from companies to engage, our survey highlights there is still a long way to go, and companies need continued support in reaching their net zero goals.

“Regulation, government incentives and shareholder action all have a key role to play in creating an enabling environment for a successful corporate net zero transition, recognising that long term decision-making requires careful consideration of trade-offs and limitations in both financial and sustainability objectives, against an uncertain macro backdrop.”

The survey gathered the views of Fidelity’s in-house analysts across the world, aggregating bottom-up information from around 20,000 individual company interactions to find key ESG trends in the corporate landscape.

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