Press Release

Survey Finds Investors Are Dissatisfied with Companies’ ESG Performance Data, Urge Business Leaders to Adopt Technologies for Improved ESG Data Management and Reporting

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CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A plurality of surveyed investment decision-makers recommend that companies adopt relevant digital technologies and tools to advance their collection, usage, and reporting of “investment grade” Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance data, according to the 2021 Benchmark ESG Survey: Investor Attitudes on Company ESG Data.

This and other survey findings are detailed in a new eBook from Benchmark Digital Partners (Benchmark), Investment-Grade ESG Performance Data: Critical to Sustainable Business, released today. The survey upon which this eBook is based was fielded online with the help of ClearPath Strategies in November 2021, and features responses from 770 investment decision-makers, including 225 institutional investors, representing a range of industries, firms, years of experience, and professional roles.

“Investment-grade company ESG data is key to channeling capital towards the companies working to mitigate and adapt to climate change and other global challenges—but it remains in short supply,” said Benchmark CEO R. Mukund. “Addressing this dearth of decision-useful company ESG data is a core premise of Benchmark’s work and, in turn, was the impetus for the survey detailed in our new eBook. Readers will find instructive investor perspectives on the current quality of companies’ self-reported data, the importance of improvement and how business leaders might collect, use, and report the investment-grade data investors need.”

Respondents to this survey were asked to share their perspectives on a variety of related topics. These topics ranged from the attributes of investment-grade company ESG data and the importance of its collection and usage, to the causes of the shortcomings in companies’ self-reported ESG data and the interventions that investors recommend companies deploy to overcome them.

Topline survey findings featured in the Investment-Grade ESG Performance Data: Critical to Sustainable Business eBook include:

  • • 69% of investment decision-makers, including 81% of institutional investors, agree that investment-grade company ESG data is timely, accurate, complete, auditable, and reliable
  • • Just 66% of respondents believe Fortune 100 companies’ collection and usage of investment-grade ESG data is credible
  • • 48% of investment decision-makers, including 58% of institutional investors, say companies’ self-reported ESG performance data is “much more important” than companies’ conventional financial data when informing their investment decisions
  • • 58% of investor decision-makers, including 67% of institutional investors, say they would be “much more likely to invest” in a company whose collection and usage of investment-grade ESG data is credible
  • • A plurality of investment decision-makers (39%), as well as a plurality of institutional investors (44%), say that company data on “Environmental factors” are the “most important” for their investment decisions
    • ◦ A plurality of investment decision-makers (47%), including a majority of institutional investors (52%), say the quality of companies’ Environment-related ESG data needs “significant improvement”
  • • A plurality of investment decision-makers (32%) say a “lack of digital technology and tools for quality data collection” is the predominant barrier companies face in collecting and using investment-grade ESG data, whereas a plurality of institutional investors (31%) say the greatest barrier is a “lack of standardized measurements”
  • • Pluralities of investment decision-makers (37%) and institutional investors (35%) say the biggest driver of improvement for companies’ collection and usage of investment-grade ESG data is to “provide digital technology and tools that help collect accurate and reliable data”

“At Benchmark, we think of our subscribers not as customers, but as partners. To that end, we intend for this eBook to not only strengthen the case for companies to advance their ESG data management and reporting processes, but to serve as a sort of manual for how business leaders can set out on their ESG journeys,” said Benchmark Corporate Development and Strategy Officer Donavan Hornsby. “This eBook shows that a plurality of investors are in agreement over the best course of action business leaders can take to not only produce the investment-grade data that investors need to act with confidence, but also advance their own cost savings, financial returns, risk avoidance and mitigation, and reputational equity outcomes in the process.”

The complete findings and corresponding takeaways from Benchmark’s first-ever investor survey can be found in the Investment-Grade ESG Performance Data: Critical to Sustainable Business eBook, which is available for download here.

About Benchmark ESG

Benchmark ESG™ (the next generation of Gensuite®) enables companies to implement robust cross-functional Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Solutions – locally, globally and across diverse operating profiles. Our comprehensive cloud-based software suite features intuitive, best-practice process functionality, flexible configurations and powerful extensions. For over two decades, our digital platform has helped companies manage safe & sustainable operations worldwide, with a focus on fast return on investment (ROI), service excellence and continuous innovation. Join nearly 3,000,000 users that trust Benchmark ESG™ with their software system needs for operational risk and compliance, EHS, sustainability, product stewardship, supplier risk, and ESG data management / disclosure reporting.


Jen Redden
Benchmark Gensuite
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