Tackling climate change should be a major priority for companies when confronting threats to their business, according to a major survey of global investors.
PwC’s poll shows that investors see inflation and macroeconomic volatility as the biggest threats of the next 12 months, scoring 67% and 62% respectively.
Of the investor community surveyed, 44% believe tackling climate change should be a top-five priority for business. This contrasts with lower scores for other environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues such as protecting worker health and safety (27%) and improving workforce diversity and inclusion (25%). The top priorities for business were innovation (83%) and maximising profitability (69%).
However, investors have a low degree of trust in corporate sustainability reporting, A total of 78% said “unsupported claims” about sustainability performance were present to a moderate, large or very large extent, while just 2% said that corporate reporting does not contain unsupported claims. Information from ESG ratings agencies is not filling the trust gap, with just 22% of investors using them to a large or very large extent.
“When almost eight out of 10 investors tell us they suspect greenwashing in corporate sustainability reporting, companies and regulators should take note,” says PwC global reporting leader Nadja Picard. “The lack of trust is troubling as sustainability information becomes increasingly important to both investors’ and other stakeholders’ decisions.”
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