Environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) issues, long considered niche, are now core material concerns of investors and boards of directors alike, according to a survey conducted by the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and LeaderXXchangeⓇ.
A team of academics from the Millstein Center and experts at LeaderXXchangeⓇ surveyed more than 130 investors and directors in Europe and North America to understand whether and how institutional investors and board directors incorporate climate-related issues in their investment decision making and their oversight responsibilities.
More than 60% of directors and 70% of investors surveyed indicated that climate risk is already impacting their business today. Other key findings, detailed below, reveal not only that both groups find ESG issues to be material, but that there are certain demographic and regional differences within each group’s views.
Selected Key Findings:
Investors and directors believe climate change issues are material:
– More than 60% of directors and 70% of investors indicated that climate risk is already impacting their businesses today.
– 75% of respondents believe they hold an ethical obligation to incorporate climate risk into their strategy.
Investors and directors view climate disclosure as a significant deciding factor:
– A majority of both groups indicated they view climate disclosure and financial reporting as equally important.
Investors in Europe appear more interested in climate-related issues:
– 88% of European investors think that climate risk reporting is at least equally as important as financial reporting; only 67% of North American investors agree.