Unit4 has unveiled the ESG-focused findings of its second annual Business Future Index.
The survey found that acceleration of business transformation drove major improvements in ESG over the two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unit4 commissioned a survey of 3,450 respondents across 12 global markets to gain insight into how the acceleration of people, policy and technology changes over the past 12 months have affected business operations, including ESG results.
The study found that, overall, sustainability has improved with 24 percent of respondents reporting their organization was doing very well in meeting sustainability goals in 2022, a significant improvement from the 19 percent who reported the same the previous year. ESG performance is stronger with 69 percent of organizations claiming they’re in a better position now to meet ESG and CSR goals due to these accelerated changes in the workplace.
Additionally, the study found that poor ESG poses a talent barrier, with 20 percent of respondents claiming their organization is perceived to have poor ESG credentials. Recruitment and retention of diverse talent is lagging with 36 percent of responding businesses mentioning that they struggle to find and keep staff across a mix of generations and other key diversity categories. The study also found that most organizations aren’t prioritizing diversity with 25 percent of respondents reporting that their organization plan to improve diversity.
Tania Garrett, chief people officer at Unit4, said: “As other research makes clear, diverse teams are an asset to any and every business, so the ESG and CSR findings in the 2022 Business Future Index suggest that more organizations should take steps to improve diversity.
“ESG is about more than metrics – doing the right thing benefits the business, its people and the environment at large. When businesses adopt flexible working and provide supporting tools and processes, they can improve employee wellbeing, productivity, and engagement in addition to ESG metrics.”