This article presents highlights from the 2022 Global Impact at Scale report, published by Trialogue’s global partner Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP). The report is based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) data collected from 134 companies headquartered in 15 countries.
Over 60% of respondent companies were headquartered in Western Europe, the UK and North America. South African respondents made up 13% of the sample, with data included from 17 companies surveyed by Trialogue. Most of the respondents were large companies. Almost half (47%) reported revenue of $10 billion (R182 billion) or greater and 65% reported having more than 10 000 employees. The financials industry followed by industrials had the highest representation in the sample at 22% and 16% respectively.
Integration of ESG into business strategy continues
Over 70% of companies surveyed globally (and 69% of South African companies) indicated that ESG is very much integrated into their corporate strategy, and more than a quarter reported that it is somewhat integrated. This is in line with 2021 results for both the global and South African samples.
Over half of respondents (56%) predict that ESG will be integrated across all departments in the next two to five years. The largest portion of these companies are from the financials industry.
Over half of the respondents indicated that the social component of ESG is the most
complex and just less than a third have indicated that all three components are
Community investments as a tool to attract and retain employees
The most important benefits of community investments internally are the improvement of employee engagement and retention.
Externally, attracting and retaining the best candidates and employees is the third-highest-rated benefit, after improved reputation and brand. South African companies also rated employee engagement, and attracting and retaining of employees highly.
ESG reporting increasing
The trend of increasing public ESG reporting has remained strong in 2022 and is expected to maintain its trajectory over the short to medium term. Globally, 76% of companies increased the amount of public ESG reporting over the past year, compared to 61% in the prior year. Almost all these companies use reporting standards to report on ESG, with only 1% saying they do not use any standards. Fewer South African companies (51%) increased their reporting and a larger proportion do not have formal ESG reporting (10% of South African companies versus 2% globally).
Most global companies use some form of non regulatory/voluntary standards for ESG reporting with only 2% saying their company does not use standards for ESG reporting. The most used standards are the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (63%) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) (45%). This trend was also seen across the South African companies surveyed; however, there were more companies (14%) that did not use any standards in comparison to their global counterparts.
Resource allocation to social issues on the rise
There has been a positive shift in resource allocation to issues of diversity and inclusion, healthy lifestyle and future of work. Resources for culture and arts have been steadier.
Social and environmental staff increasingly working together
In 2022 there was a significant increase in the proportion of companies with staff working on CSI and environmental issues
jointly from 28% to 58% globally, and from 23% to 28% in South Africa. There was a corresponding decrease in the number of global companies where the functions work separately, although South Africa saw a marginal increase.
Changes in social investment and volunteering
Globally, most companies (61%) reported that they anticipated an unchanged social investment budget and resource allocation from 2021, and 28% of companies are expecting a significant
increase in budget and resources. More South African companies (60%) reported an expected increase in spend, and fewer (34%) reported that they anticipated the budget and resource allocation would remain about the same.
Most companies that were able to report on volunteering time allocated to employees globally and in South Africa offered an annual total of eight hours per employee. Globally, 60% of companies offered at least one matching gift programme. Across all industries, the average participation rate of matching gift programmes was 18%.