ESG performance needs hard commercial graft (not just PR) to gain credibility amongst peer-groups and commentators
By Tarquin Henderson, Director and Head of ESG Insight Practice
Each year we work with Management Today to compile and publish the Britain’s Most Admired Companies study. This is longest running survey of corporate reputation in the UK – now in its 31st year year with valuable reputational trends and data across the FTSE. The 2021 results will be published in December. Ahead of this, here is a snapshot from last year’s survey focused on how the 250 companies in our study fared in terms of the perceptions of their ESG activities and commitments.
With a scale of 1-10 (10 being a sign of perceived ESG greatness) there is a pretty massive range of results. I am sure Halma plc will not mind me mentioning their position – 1st. No surprise there and congratulations. They are a great business that last year became Britain’s Most Admired Company.
I will spare the blushes of the company that was ranked in last position. You’d be forgiven for thinking it is a mining company or perhaps an oil company. It’s not. In fact, it’s a ‘digital challenger brand’. So being new and funky doesn’t necessarily provide an automatic pass to ESG greatness.
There were some interesting comparisons between sectors too. The best performing being Engineering & Machinery, Non-food Retailers and House Builders (that is quite surprising but understandable when you consider the importance of the impact they have on the environment). Bringing up the rear were Food and Personal care Retailers, Support Services and Transport.
Key takeaways: What you might think of as great ESG PR may not be hitting home among your peers and sector commentators. Commercial proof-points are essential. There are no real sectors that stand out yet in terms of best practice – although individual companies are often beacons of ESG delivery ahead of their sector peers.
In October, we are launching a dedicated insight service to support clients understand the stakeholder impact and perception gaps of their ESG programmes. We offer bespoke and comprehensive insight among global financial, commercial and community stakeholders, often integrated with influencer insight analysis drawn from media and social platforms coverage as well.
To receive details of this new service, please contact Tarquin Henderson here.