In a new survey, executives and investment professionals largely agree that environmental, social, and governance programs create short- and long-term value—though perceptions of how have changed over the past decade.
Pressure on companies to pay attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues continues to mount. Researchers, business groups, and nongovernmental organizations have variously warned of the risks—or emphasized the opportunities—that such issues present to company performance. Most executives and the investment professionals who scrutinize their companies seem to agree that ESG programs affect performance. In our latest McKinsey Global Survey on valuing ESG programs, 83% of C-suite leaders and investment professionals say they expect that ESG programs will contribute more shareholder value in five years than today. They also indicate that they would be willing to pay about a 10 % median premium to acquire a company with a positive record for ESG issues over one with a negative record. That’s true even of executives who say ESG programs have no effect on shareholder value.