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APAC Firms Lag on Integrating Critical ESG Measures

Global professional services firm Aon has published its 2023 Asia Pacific (APAC) Corporate Governance and ESG Survey, revealing that although the surveyed companies acknowledge the importance of ESG issues, most have yet to integrate ESG measures. Only 29% of companies include ESG-related goals and KPIs for their C-suite, despite 58% of companies stating that ESG is critical to their long-term success, the report said. Furthermore, only 34% of companies have a dedicated ESG function. The report also found that business strategy, rather than regulatory requirements, is the primary driver of action on ESG in APAC. To accelerate and expand ESG efforts, boards and management in the region must better understand the link between ESG and business strategies and use metrics and performance measures as their ESG maturity improves, the report noted. Simon Kennedy, Partner and Head of People Solutions for Australia at Aon, stated that the first step is to align ESG targets with business strategies and goals. The report highlights that companies can retain their existing measures, no matter how simple, and enhance them as they move forward, with ESG targets ideally being as measurable as financial targets, based on established standards. Listed companies are reportedly twice as likely to have clearly defined ESG metrics and to link them to C-suite performance compared with privately held companies, the report added.

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