The growing importance of environmental, social and governance issues has reached an inflection point in the middle market, according to proprietary research from RSM US LLP. 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.