RSM US 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Special Report

Opportunity abounds for firms that can adapt to shifting priorities

The growing importance of environmental, social and governance issues has reached an inflection point in the middle market, even in the face of the dramatic economic fluctuations of the last year and a half, proprietary research from RSM US LLP shows. Stakeholders’ increased focus on ESG will continue to present immense business opportunities for organizations that position themselves to adapt to these shifting priorities.

Familiarity among middle market executives with the use of ESG criteria to evaluate the performance of businesses, organizations and/or investments rose significantly in the third quarter of 2021, compared to the fourth quarter in 2019, according to the third-quarter RSM US Middle Market Business Index survey, which polled executives from July 8 through July 26 on ESG- and climate change-related questions. In the last part of 2019, 39% of executives were very familiar or somewhat familiar with using ESG criteria to evaluate performance, and in Q3 2021, that figure was 69%.

And the rise of ESG is about more than just awareness—a majority of survey respondents indicated that their organizations are taking action to incorporate these issues into their operations. Here are a few of the findings:

“Familiarity among middle market executives with the use of ESG criteria to evaluate the performance of businesses, organizations and/or investments rose significantly in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the third-quarter RSM US Middle Market Business Index survey.”

As gender equity, climate, racial equality, income disparity and other social issues gain national prominence, the role of corporations around social imperatives has come to the fore. It’s not surprising that middle market businesses have now elevated ESG measures as a business priority.

What's inside the 2021 MMBI ESG special report?

The report provides insights into how middle market businesses are reacting to heightened awareness around ESG and climate-related issues, touching the following topics:

  • ESG priorities
  • Integration and metrics
  • Climate change and carbon footprint
  • U.S.-U.K. comparison
  • Actionable steps for middle market businesses

Read RSM’s full Environmental, Social and Governance special report to learn more:

Download the full report


Featured inside the ESG special report

Climate change and carbon footprint

Climate change and carbon footprint

While ESG initiatives encompass a wide range of issues, those focused on the environment are of paramount importance.

An ESG road map can make lofty goals more attainable

An ESG road map can make lofty goals more attainable

Awareness about environmental, social and governance is greater than ever, but translating awareness into action is more difficult.

RSM marks its ESG journey

RSM marks its ESG journey

Against the backdrop of heightened awareness around growing social issues, RSM is taking steps to drive change.

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