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Corporate social responsibility is no longer a nicety; it is a necessity. Customers and investors demand it and policymakers make it law. Yet, despite setting ambitious goals, most companies are slow to act. This is according to PWC's study ESG Empowered Value Chains 2025.
Editorial office / London

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) refers to the environmental, social and governance criteria for a company’s activities that may have an impact on society or the environment. They make CSR measurable. Appearing green is not enough in this respect. To be competitive, activities must actually be adapted. And that means: taking an end-to-end look at the value chain and making the company more resilient to future challenges.

Almost all large companies (99%) now consider ESG criteria in future investments. It is important for obtaining funding. The environmental aspect, and in particular the emission target, is currently central to this. Eighty per cent of companies have clearly defined long-term goals in this area, but only a third have actually taken emission reduction measures. The emphasis here is on Scope 1 (own emissions) and 2 (energy related emissions), while only 21% have measures for Scope 3 (emissions from products through the use of purchased raw materials and use after sales).

Incidentally, according to PWC, ESG maturity varies by region and sector. North America and Asia are ahead of Europe and especially when it comes to the industrial manufacturing and retail/consumer goods sectors. The process industry and services sector lag behind.

Key figures:

  • 77% of respondents plan to achieve zero emissions in all value chains by 2050;
  • approx. 1/3 have taken emission reduction measures;
  • 53% are at an early stage of ESG transformation; 6% are at an advanced stage;
  • 64% plan to have circular business models within two years.

For more information and the full report, visit PWC’s website.

Image: Deemerwha studio/Shutterstock