The wild west of standards

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards allow businesses to assess their own organisations sustainability and risk, but also those of their clients, customers and suppliers.

For the businesses that are choosing to voluntarily report their ESG metrics, or those required to by regulation to do so, the wealth of different standards available presents a baffling landscape.

There are over 22 ESG standards available, and businesses can choose elements of the metrics they report on, potentially leaving anyone looking at these results with an incomplete picture.

Many of the companies we asked used more than one standard, with results showing an average of 3.2 per business. This means that anyone making comparisons between organisations is not able to access a like for like picture and perhaps putting the overall purpose of ESG in jeopardy.

Government and regulatory bodies across the globe must collaborate to ensure rapid convergence and consistency of these standards so that businesses have clear guidelines to work within as they develop their strategies and reporting outputs. 

The Real Economy ESG infographic

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