The impact of climate change and resource scarcity, accelerating urbanisation, increased population, changing demography and inequality, technological breakthroughs, and other megatrends are causing unprecedented disruption locally and globally.
There is an increased need for business leaders to embed sustainability into their operations, as financial factors are no longer deemed the primary drivers of value. Governments are increasingly aligning long-term national priorities, including the stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment, achieving agriculture and food security, ensuring energy sufficiency (power and petroleum products), with sustainability and a regulatory drive for ESG practice.
The global shift in the last two decades has revealed the importance of ESG factors in value creation and business resilience. Shareholders and other stakeholders are becoming more concerned about the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in business operations and risk management.
ESG is a balanced scorecard for assessing non-financial implications and impacts as well as risks and opportunities.
Today, the emphasis on ESG is growing steadily as stakeholders across the business spectrum now see ESG as a window into a company’s future. Investors are factoring ESG criteria into their decision-making and rating/ranking agencies are assessing businesses using their ESG performance.
As ESG data and information are growing in disclosure and awareness, many organisations are getting lost in the wave of trends in ESG. Some of the common challenges organisations face today include:
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. Our Sustainability/ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) team leverages broad industry knowledge and experience as well as the empirical capability of our people to address clients' needs and deliver sustainable value.
We aim to help clients understand and execute on the options available to transform their organisation from strategy through execution to ensure relevance and profitability in a world undergoing dramatic transition.
The emphasis on sustainability has shifted from compliance-based and commercial toward a set of complementing qualities that can provide business value - be it direct, such as cost reduction, or indirect, such as customer loyalty.
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Investor concern, founded on the view that ESG issues have the potential to materially impact the valuation of investments over the longer term, has been ramping up in recent years and private equity firms, asset and wealth managers, investment advisors and other capital market players are taking advantage of the opportunities.
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Sustainable finance represents a significant opportunity for financial institutions to reposition their business model in line with the customer expectations, evolving economic risks and challenges, and new requirements, like the SEC Guidelines on Sustainable Finance Principles, coming with CSR, ESG, and other initiatives and standards-driven by politics and society.
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Sustainability has gone beyond just adhering to the rules. The prioritisation of ESG risks and emerging opportunities in sustainability has necessitated the representation of sustainability in corporate strategy, operational model, and day-to-day activities.
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With the need for more information, many organisations are publishing their annual sustainability reports, showing how they have demonstrated in line with adopted standards and guidelines in their industry, market, and globally.
Learn more about Reporting and Assurance