While most Americans have never heard of the term “ESG,” but according to a recent survey from multi-national manufacturing and service companies network SK Group, the majority of U.S. adults say they want to work for a company that places a priority on environmentally sustainable business practices.
A recent survey shows that more than half of Americans want to work for a company with a strong commitment to addressing climate change. This commitment to sustainability ranks even higher with younger generations.
The survey of 1,500 U.S. adults was conducted in May 2021 to gauge U.S. attitudes about corporate sustainability. These principles are part of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards increasingly being used by socially conscious investors and other stakeholders to evaluate a company’s operations.
The survey results, released shortly before World Environment Day, revealed the current and future U.S. workforce wants companies to measure and report on their environmental impact. This commitment to sustainability is even more important for the younger generation and for those actively seeking new jobs.
Highlights of the survey include:
- More than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) think it’s important for companies to be transparent about their sustainability commitments and publicly report on their progress on environmental issues. This sentiment is even higher for those 18-34 years with 74 percent saying it’s important.
- More than half of U.S. adults (53 percent) say it’s important to work for a company with a strong commitment to addressing climate change.
- Gen Z and Gen Y had the highest response rates with 59 percent and 64 percent, respectively, saying it’s important their company is committed to addressing climate change. Almost four-in-five (79 percent) active job seeker say it’s an important factor for their next company.
- About half (52 percent) of U.S. corporate employees say their company’s environmental sustainability practices are aligned with their own.
- Most Americans (59 percent) have never heard of the concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices for corporations and another quarter are only somewhat familiar.
Environmentally sustainable business practices have become an increasing focus for global corporations as part of the broader ESG movement. The World Economic Forum and the United Nations have advocated the use of ESG measurements and accountability standards for businesses and their investments. The SK survey shows that most Americans also place a high value on sustainable business practices.
“Environmental sustainability isn’t only a lofty topic discussed at global business forums and academic conferences,” said Hyung-Hee Lee, social value committee president of the SK Supex Council, in a news release. “Whether they know the ESG acronym or not, employees across all levels want to work for organizations that are having a positive impact on the environment and doing their part to address climate change.”