By Andreas Friis, Executive Director, S-HUB (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2019 is soon over, but will go into history as the year where sustainability really became mainstream and a core strategic priority for a large number of companies - fueled especially by global finance and investor expectations worldwide. There has been a 30% increase in sustainable investing in the latest 2 years, now totalling over $30 trillion worldwide or 25% of all assets under management.
Full buy-in from investors, owners and top level management
97% of investors now say they take non-financial information into consideration when making their investment decisions - an increase of almost 50% in just 3 years - with many indications that sustainability investments clearly outperform their traditional counterparts.
Sustainability is moving from “nice to have” to “need to do”.
One massive sign of this is the August redefinition of The US Business Roundtable’s landmark “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation”. The focus is not anymore just to serve shareholders, but “to create value for all stakeholders.” More than 200 CEOs led by JP Morgan Chase Chairman Jamie Dimon have signed on.
Status in Norway
In Norway, we see similar trends through our annual S-HUB “State of Sustainability Norway 2019”-survey. 77% of the 173 respondents in this survey say that they have sustainability strategies in place, whereas 72% report on sustainability. At the same time, 80% want to have better frameworks when it comes to measuring and reporting on sustainability impact. There is also a lack of maturity and competence in practice in this space, where 75% of the companies have worked with sustainability for less than 6 years, and the people responsible for these topics in the companies are usually recruited internally, with no sustainability experience nor education to lean on.
What are the deep implications of all of this?
- S-HUB State of Sustainability Norway 2019-report
- Global Sustainable Investment Alliance / USSIF
- McKinsey 2019 - More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want
- EY 2018 - Does your nonfinancial reporting tell your value creation story?