Published 7 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Understanding investor priorities is an important responsibility for a company’s top executives and its board of directors, yet, new findings show that managers’ perceptions of investors are out of date.
A 2015 survey of more than 3,000 managers and investors in organizations from over 100 countries conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that investors increasingly believe that sustainability performance creates tangible value and are prepared to divest from companies with a poor sustainability footprint.
Some of their key findings include:
The shift in investor attitudes seemed unlikely even 7 years ago. In 2009, Bloomberg researchers found that just 22 percent of the 766 CEOs they surveyed from around the globe believed investors would be key stakeholders in driving their action on sustainability over the next five years. And while the MIT Sloan Management Review authors assert that this perception “has passed its sell-by date,” they also acknowledge that sustainability metrics have only recently become so important to investors. Their 2015 survey showed that 74 percent of all investor respondents believe that sustainability performance matters more than it did 3 years ago.
The authors suggest that investor interest in sustainability is being driven by at least three factors:
“Companies have been complaining that nobody cares about sustainability,” commented Robert Eccles, chairman of Arabesque Partners and professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. “But investors care, and companies need to up their game.”
Published May 19, 2016 6am EDT / 3am PDT / 11am BST / 12pm CEST