Is Singapore ready for a more responsible approach?

67% think companies with better ESG practices will be in a better position in the long term compared to their peers who are not

Is Singapore ready for a more responsible approach?

As awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have increased around the globe, they have begun to move further onto the agenda in Singapore.

When asked whether they agreed with the statement: “Companies with better environmental, social and governance practices will be in a better position in the long term compared to their peers who are not”, 67% agreed.

The youngest and oldest generations were most confident – at 79% of 16-21 year olds and 72% of those over 55 – that ESG practices will improve long-term company performance. This compares to 63% of 22-30 year olds, 64% of 31-39 year olds and 67% of those aged between 40 and 54.

However tellingly, those who agreed fell to 58% when the question changed to: “When evaluating which company to invest in, it is important to take into account the company’s social and environmental impact and not just the financial gain that could be accrued”.

However, for 16-21 year olds, this figure went up to 70%. It fell to 58% for those between 22 and 30 years of age, and 57% of those between 31 and 39.

But it increased slightly to 60% for those between the ages of 40 and 54 - and to 61% for over 55s.

Bridging the gap: Evaluation versus action

When asked how they would want a company to invest their money in the future, only 20% said that ensuring investments have a positive impact on the society over the long term was a key requirement.

In addition, just 8% said they would be looking to invest in companies that consider climate change in their operations.

And just under a quarter, at 24%, said that financial gain is more important than impact on society.