Social Policies not yet Driving Outcomes in North America

North American employers are increasingly implementing policies to “build more inclusive and human-centric work environments”, but their efforts are not having a significantly positive impact, according to a ‘State of Social in ESG’ report by ESG Global Advisors. It found that 94% of organisations are embracing flexible work models and 79% are increasing investments in employee physical and mental health. The vast majority had developed or are developing diversity, equity and inclusion policies and training programmes, but very few are setting established targets or undertaking third-party assessments, such as racial or pay-equity audits. While employees give their employees positive marks, the survey noted a persistent gap between how highly they value social performance and how well they think organisations are actually doing. Dustyn Lanz, Senior Advisor at ESG Global Advisors, said: “We’re seeing gaps in actions that generate tangible outcomes, such as those related to hiring, procurement, and supply chain. This highlights an opportunity for leaders to be courageous and take action now, rather than waiting for best practices to be defined by others.” The report is based on the survey responses of 73 North American organisations, comprising listed firms with a combined market capitalisation of US$3.34 trillion and financial institutions and investment institutions with US$2.04 trillion AUM.

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