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Global survey shows public demands action on ESG

By Andrew Adie
20 October 2022
Green & Good (ESG and Impact)

By Andrew Adie

Cost of living increases are the greatest concern for the UK public but they still expect the corporate world to lead on ESG and behave like good corporate citizens.

That is the conclusion from SEC Newgate’s second global ESG Monitor, a survey of more than 12,000 consumers undertaken in 12 different countries.

In the UK 78% of those surveyed said they want corporates to behave like good corporate citizens and almost half say they are willing to boycott companies’ products and services if they feel they are failing to deliver positive impact.

Worryingly for the corporate world, when asked how they rate what corporates are delivering, 91% of the public who were polled said they don’t believe what corporates say on ESG.

It’s indicative of a major trust gap and a disconnect that exists between what corporates say they are doing to lead the transition to a world of purpose and profit and what the public perceive they are actually delivering.

We see reports at the moment of corporates looking to roll back their ESG commitments in the face of negative economic headwinds and of increased scrutiny around the ESG investing approach used by fund managers – with some questioning whether ESG investing is a dereliction of fiduciary duty.

That debate looks set to run but as the SEC Newgate ESG Monitor 2022 clearly shows, the public have a different agenda. That is driven by a desire to see real impact on the ground driven and led by business. In practice it means good jobs, equality of opportunity, driving decarbonisation and ‘green’ behaviours through business and being a responsible corporate citizen.

While some may yearn to turn back the clock on ESG the reality is that even today, in times of intense turmoil, change and worry, it matters to the public. 

The genie can’t be put back in the bottle, our report below shows corporates what the public expect and where they need to act.

To watch a short video on this year's findings, click here.