Top Automotive Suppliers’ ESG Reports Focus Mostly on Environment and Little on Governance, New Bianchi PR Study Shows

by | Oct 7, 2021

Most top auto suppliers’ ESG reports focus mostly on the E (environmental) and neglect the G (governance), according to a recent study – “Automotive Suppliers and ESG” – conducted by automotive PR specialist firm Bianchi Public Relations.

Bianchi PR conducted the Automotive Suppliers and ESG study this summer to provide insights to help automotive supplier communicators assist their CFOs and investor relations executives in enhancing  their ESG reports.

Jim Bianchi, president, Bianchi PR shared some of the report’s key insights at today’s virtual Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Automotive Public Relations Council (APRC) event.

“In this current era of distrust, the more focus suppliers can put on transparency about their environmental, social and governance topics, the greater the benefit will be,” said Bianchi. “Yet, of the 200 specific topics covered in the supplier ESG reports we recently reviewed, approximately 1/3 related to the environment while only 3% related to corporate governance and compliance. So clearly, there is room for improvement in auto supplier ESG reporting.”

Bianchi PR conducted its study in May/June of 2021 by looking at the ESG reports for the top 25 North American auto OEM suppliers, based on the most recent Automotive News ranking.

The goal of the study was three-fold: to create a snapshot in time of auto supplier ESG reporting; to identify commonalities for the auto supplier sector in ESG reporting; and to identify the greatest  opportunities and areas for improvement.

“In this age of impact investing, your key publics – investors, customers, employees, recruits, partners, and others – want to know what your company is doing relative to its progress in sustainability and governance, as well as the environment,” said Bianchi. “But because there isn’t one common standard or format, it’s hard for investors to compare companies. Our colleagues in the Public Relations Global Network recently created the Global ESG Monitor to help investors and others assess the transparency of more than 140 of the world’s largest companies. That report sparked us, as a mobility-focused PR agency, to look at how the North American auto suppliers were handling their ESG reporting.”

 During its review, the study uncovered some key insights:

  • There’s a big gap in coverage of the diversity, equality and inclusion efforts, with almost two-thirds of auto supplier ESG reports neglecting this topic. This is a key ESG reporting area that can help a supplier with social cause-motivated investors, automaker customers, employees and recruits;
  • The top North American auto supplier sector has not standardized on a single reporting standard, and many suppliers use multiple reporting standards, which makes it difficult for investors to compare companies; and
  • The top auto suppliers’ reports don’t share a common format or approach – running the gamut from sustainability reports to integrated reports with financial details and from corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports to combined reports.

The study also revealed several other insights, relating to the most and least covered topics, where ESG reports are found, goal- and metric-specific information, and report length.

For more information about Bianchi PR’s Automotive Suppliers and ESG Study, visit the firm’s blog (https://www.bianchipr.com/blog) or contact the agency to schedule a discussion.

About Bianchi PR

Bianchi PR, founded in 1992, offers special expertise in, and laser-sharp focus on, business-to-business PR for automotive and mobility technology suppliers, including new entrants with enabling technologies for emobility, autonomous vehicles and connected vehicles.

Ranked by PR industry trade journals O’Dwyer’s and PRWeek among the top independent PR firms based in metro Detroit, Bianchi PR serves clients including Adient, Cooper Standard, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies,  Munro & Associates, Rolls-Royce Power Systems/mtu brand, SAE International, Schaeffler Group and Yanfeng.

The firm’s experience also includes work with automotive technology companies such as ZF TRW, Valeo and Ibeo Automotive Systems, as well as consulting firms and industry trade organizations such as the Automotive Industry Action Group, the Center for Automotive Research and the Steel Market Development Institute. For more information, visit www.bianchipr.com or call 248-269-1122.

To serve it clients on a worldwide basis, Bianchi PR has been an active member in the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), one of the world’s largest international PR networks, since 2014.

 Clients across six continents depend on the combined resources of PRGN to deliver targeted public relations campaigns in markets around the world. PRGN harnesses the resources of 50 independent public relations firms in 52 locations and close to 1,000 communications professionals to connect international companies and organizations with individual and culturally diverse markets globally. Visit PRGN online at www.prgn.com or on Twitter at @PRGN.

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