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IBM: ESG does not impair the company's ability to generate results. But attention to customers

"ESG isn’t a drag on business performance. It’s an accelerator that drives profitability and growth"

72% of executives say ESG needs to be a higher priority in their organization

"As a majority of consumers choose to buy from and work for ESG leaders, businesses must prioritize transparency and break down barriers to ESG data"

These are observations on purpose of the new IBM study "The ESG ultimatum: Profit or perish" released las April 17.

The study, based on surveys of 20.000 consumers across 34 countries and 2.500 executives across 22 industries, found particularly strong benefits for "ESG leader" companies, with these companies 52% more likely to report that ESG efforts have “a very great” impact on profitability.

According to the study, it would be misinformation that leads to poor business decision-making, as more than 70% of executives view ESG as a revenue enabler. In short, it reveals that inadequate data hinders progress against Environmental, Social and Governance goals. And profitability.

For consumers, more than 70% said that they would be more willing to apply for a job with a company that they consider environmentally sustainable or socially responsible, and more than half reported paying a premium for environmentally sustainable or socially responsible products in the past year.

On the other hand, the study shows that only a few companies have reached the next level. And many organizations are narrowly focused on meeting immediate compliance demands. And the need for change is urgent: consumers are increasingly skeptical of ESG claims. Only 20% of consumers say they trust the statements companies make about environmental sustainability, down from 48% in 2021.

Click here for IBM's press release and at the image below to go straigh to the full report.

Among others, you will see in details how IBM's elaborate on four pillars of success:

  1. Data and ecosystems

  2. Digital tech

  3. Process and business integration

  4. Skills and decision-making (and the ownership of ESG across all C-suite)

And an action guide:

  • Stop making excuses

  • Be transparent—because you don’t have a choice

  • Don’t get cute with ESG communications. It only creates risks

  • Scale, automate, and augment with abandon

  • Agitate and orchestrate across the ecosystem

  • Capitalize on trust. People make the difference


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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