January 27, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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A quarter of companies say they cannot mitigate their environmental impact

Despite EU support, to stimulate the development of post-pandemic societies and improve sustainability, most business leaders say there is no incentive to mitigate their environmental impact.

A new Ricoh Europe survey shows that one in four business leaders believe their company is failing to achieve better environmental impact.

Rico Europe’s Opinion Matters survey focused on 1,500 business leaders with decision-making powers across Europe. He noted that 60% of them agree that there is no incentive for corporate governance bodies to help mitigate the negative impact of companies on the environment. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) are unsure or lack the means to effect meaningful change. However, 67% say their employees now care more about the company’s environmental sustainability than they did five years ago.

The findings suggest that when it comes to improving ESG, management doesn’t know where to start. This comes despite strong efforts by the European Union to help companies improve the efficiency of ESGs, including the availability of subsidies and assets through projects such as InvestEU and Digital Europe.

Only 27% of business leaders say they have long-term goals for environmental sustainability – which means most of them fail to implement a fundamental change plan. It is hoped that this will soon change after the COP26 summit, at which world leaders pledged to help halt deforestation, gradually cut coal and reduce methane emissions.

The lack of planning and action is sharply demonstrated by the fact that most companies (65%) understand the importance of environmental sustainability to their competitiveness in the market in which they operate.

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Combining digital transformation efforts with a clear ESG framework is one way companies can begin to see benefits across society as a whole.

David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe says: “The first step is often the hardest part of any business system change. There will be many areas where improving operations or productivity will overlap with ESG goals, so this can be an ideal start for companies .One of the ways it can help increase operating profit and ESG is through digital transformation.This may seem very attractive given that the European Union has made calls to help companies digitize and improve sustainable performance as part of its strategy to recover from the pandemic.However, In order to achieve measurable success, the implementation of any changes to the objectives must be accompanied by a framework and a clear commitment.”

“At Rico, we align our business strategy and environmental, social and corporate governance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Rather than being an obstacle, aligning with the SDGs to improve our environmental and social performance is a competitive advantage for us. This wave will certainly not pull us to the bottom, but the opposite The harsh reality is that the market will eventually ignore companies that do not contribute to improving environmental and social performance.”

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