Survey: ESG is a business imperative

  • About ServiceNow
  • Trends and Research
  • Cybersecurity and Risk
  • 2022
  • Lana Gates
April 25, 2022

ESG: solar farm

Businesses across the globe are under pressure to address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The pressure is coming from all sides, including the board, senior management, customers, investors, and employees, according to new research from ServiceNow and ThoughtLab.

“ESG has become a business imperative with real impact on stakeholder trust and long-term value creation,” says ServiceNow Chief Financial Officer Gina Mastantuono, writing in the Spring issue of ServiceNow’s Workflow Quarterly magazine.

Benefits of ESG

Of the 1,000 C-level business leaders in the ServiceNow/ThoughtLab survey, 64% say ESG enables stronger financial performance. In fact, 73% of financial leaders report that a focus on ESG helped them deliver better results. Only 13% said generating profit for shareholders is a higher priority than improving ESG performance.

According to the research, strong ESG performance enables a range of business benefits, including:

  • Increased revenue growth

  • Greater shareholder value

  • Better talent attraction and retention

  • Improved customer satisfaction

  • Stronger teamwork and corporate culture

73% of financial leaders report that a focus on ESG helped them deliver better results.

How to achieve ESG goals

The study shows that organizations worldwide are focused on identifying ESG issues, developing an ESG vision and strategy, creating structure and honing skills to advance that strategy, setting and reporting metrics on ESG performance, and more. Digital technology can help with those efforts. In fact, digital innovation is key to achieving ESG goals, according to 61% of survey respondents.

Data and security are important with any digital technology. Currently, 52% of organizations represented in the survey are working to improve their data security and privacy. And 65% of companies plan to address this issue within the next two years.

Promising tech

Which technologies are organizations relying on to advance their ESG goals? According to the ServiceNow/ThoughtLab study, companies are embracing the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced data management and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and digital enterprise platforms, among others.

Organizations face significant challenges to reaching their ESG goals. Six out of 10 ESG leaders report a lack of ESG skills and talent. Other challenges include keeping up with changing regulations, insufficient technology investment, uncertain business case, and high implementation costs.

ServiceNow® ESG solutions can help you get control of ESG across your organization to realize value and business outcomes.

Gain more insights in the ESG issue of Workflow Quarterly.

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