Publicly held companies have, in recent years, begun to standardize and improve their communications to investors about ESG. In doing so, they have been rewarded. The widely circulated Larry Fink message for the CEOs of the companies in which he invests spoke volumes, both in what it revealed about the “sustainability premium” that exists with investors today, and for what it predicted about how that premium will extend to other stakeholders, including consumers, in short order tomorrow.
There is no doubt the stakes are high. According to a 2020 Capgemini report, about “79% of consumers are changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact.” A 2020 CGS Retail and Fashion Sustainability Survey reported that 56% of U.S. respondents would pay more for a sustainable fashion, apparel or footwear product.