ESG and Sustainability in 2023 - what you need to know

2023 is shaping up to be a year where organisations continue the evolution of their Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability priorities. For some, it’s business as usual; for others, it’ll be a year of change and disruption.

Regardless of where you’re at on your ESG journey, there are five key areas to keep a watch on this year:

1. An increasing focus on ethics and integrity

2023 is highlighting that businesses need to do as well as say, and be cautious of rhetoric.

  • ESG ambition and targets are growing, but ambition needs to be translated into quality actions.

  • Consumers, investors and employees and regulators are increasingly on the lookout for false or misleading ESG claims.

  • The consequences of greenwashing are rising – in terms of reputation, business performance and legal penalties.

  • Transparency builds trust, so accurate disclosure is key.

2. Prioritising supply chain security, resilience and transparency

Nothing has exposed our dependencies on global supply chains quite like COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine – and these factors will still be with us throughout 2023 and beyond.

  • Geopolitics and COVID-19 have upended the status quo for supply chains and spurred a shift to sovereign manufacturing.

  • Supply chains can be a source of operational and reputational risk, but can also offer new opportunities for efficiencies, innovation and ESG improvements.

  • Scrutiny on supply chains will continue to grow in 2023 as the public seeks more understanding of the full product journey.

  • Expectations are growing for reporting and reducing scope 3 emissions - so it’s time to get started.

3. Transitioning workforces

2023 is seeing continued evolution of workforce based on global ambitions to reach net zero by 2050.

  • More workers, new skills and training pathways will be needed to deliver and power the clean energy transition.

  • The transition to net zero must be a ‘just transition’ for workforces and communities affected by major industrial shifts.

  • Strong ESG credentials will help attract and retain talent.

  • Any true shift to be a sustainable organisation will require consideration of organisational structure as well as culture and behaviours.

4. First nations inclusion and empowerment

A critical part of any organisation’s ESG performance should be its relationships with diverse First Nations communities. 

  • There is a great opportunity for First Nations participation in the booming clean energy sector through employment, procurement and new ownership models (including co-investment/co-ownership from First Nations groups).
  • Businesses should consider stepping up their efforts in applying a First Nations lens to commercial activity.
  • Expectations are rising for organisations to consider these issues as a part of business as usual, and to be mindful of the social value that can be generated with key stakeholders as a result. 

5. A dynamic political and regulatory landscape

When it comes to ESG and sustainability, we can be certain of ongoing political and regulatory change – and this year will be no exception. 

  • Global crises have spurred governments to respond, but there’s a risk of a race for green subsidies - with implications for Australian industries.

  • We’ve seen government and regulatory interventions in the energy sector in 2022 and there’s a lot more we can expect ahead.

  • With recent changes to the safeguard mechanism, high emitters should be on the hunt for greater emissions reductions.

  • It’s time to get ready for ESG reporting in line with international standards. 


Almaz Sadykov

Partner, ESG, Corporate Governance and IPO preparation services, Almaty, PwC Kazakhstan

+7 717 255 0707


Natalya Lim

Partner, Eurasia Advisory Leader, PwC Kazakhstan

+7 727 330 3200


Michael Ahern

Partner, Tax & Legal Services, Almaty, PwC Kazakhstan

+7 701 758 0403


Akbota Askanbay

Director, ESG practice at risk assurance services, PwC Kazakhstan

+7 727 330 3200


Zhazira Zhanadilova

Senior Manager, ESG consulting, PwC Kazakhstan

+7 727 330 3200


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