3 Common Trends Amongst Top ESG Business

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by KnowESG
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Early December, 2022, and ESG Book’s new online ranking identified 100 leading corporations worldwide on environmental, social, and governance issues. These corporations are massive and range from everything from tech to personal hygiene. ESG Book uses data and provides access to nearly 100,000 corporate sustainability disclosures and determines their ranking in this manner.

Regardless, this is a one-stop site to gather information, compare it, and for companies to be transparent about their sustainable methods. We’ve done this exact thing, but to look at some of the common trends that many of these companies follow in terms of their sustainability reporting and where they’re focussing on.

Each One Goes Beyond The Environment

Considering the current climate crisis right now, it makes sense more businesses are focussing overtly on sustainability, or reducing carbon emissions. And while these businesses have made progress on these issues, they go further through various campaigns.

ASML Holdings is at the top of the list and to begin they are in full support of the UN’s 2030 SDG goals. Those goals aren’t just about protecting the planet, but the people in it as well. Their annual report also highlights how their contributions work towards those SDGs.

Another example is Colgate-Palmolive, which has the SMILE campaign, meaning:

  • Driving Social impact

  • Helping MILlions of homes

  • Preserving our Environment

Cheeky for sure, but in the end, all these companies are looking to drive social impact beyond the most pressing issue right now. This is important because so many people can be confused thinking that ESG is all about protecting trees. A part of it is, but it’s not everything.

The fact these businesses are going beyond, whether combating pet homelessness, empowering women, or investing in current employees through leadership training programmes, is all a good thing.

Their Targets Aren’t Stretched Out

Understandably, many businesses choose to be conservative about their initiatives. At this point, many are projecting targets for 2030 as we’re only seven years out. However, the ones ranking highest in ESG scores will have more ambitious targets in mind.

Yes, some, like L’Oréal SA, will have targets for 2030 as well. However, a common trend you’ll see is that many will drive for massive change by 2025, or at least before 2030: 

When you have tighter deadlines to complete goals, there is a higher demand to grow and change. Similar to setting a goal in real life, when you give yourself very little time to adapt and change, you change your priorities dramatically to ensure you achieve that goal. Top ESG businesses are doing that but on a larger scale.

Their Goals Are Community-Involved

Some of the formations of these goals are based on stakeholder input. For example, Linde formed the Sustainable Development Materiality Assessment (SDMA) which then turned that into their sustainable goals and targets. 

Kone Oyj, an engineering company, has a mission of improving urban living, which naturally demands consumer input.

Applied Materials, a company that’s responsible for new chips and advanced displays across the globe, used the Datamaran platform to determine stakeholder concerns and turn them into ESG values and initiatives.

There are many examples of these across top-ranking ESG businesses. They understand that to make changes, they need to be open to feedback and make adjustments. They are open to any suggestions that are brought up.

Top ESG Business Values To Work Towards

Given the size of these businesses, it’s clear they will make larger impacts than what smaller businesses or individuals can do. That said, there is still a lot of sway that we do have with these companies. They value feedback, and working with these companies means enforcing more of that culture and work ethic they are working to promote.

Beyond that, small and medium businesses can adopt these same values. It’ll be on a smaller scale, but it would be able to spark more changes in smaller communities that larger corporations might miss or not prioritise since they’re focussed on the bigger picture.

Follow Top ESG Business performance via our Company ESG Profiles.

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