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ESG integration in the City of London, South Africa, EU and CEE countries (The Second Report)

Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law, 2022, Vol 11, Special Issue , pp. 1-82

Authors: Ruth Taplin (Professor and Director, Centre for Japanese and East Asian Studies, London UK; Editor, Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law) and Neels Kilian (Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University of the North West, South Africa)

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Following on from our first ESG report we present our second report, which assesses the progress of ESG following significant events of COP26 and 27, Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. Adherence to ESG principles has become stricter but the debate concerning the success of asset managers who are investing according to ESG principles when allocating pensions funds to companies has widened and become more open to debates concerning the nature of ESG. Notwithstanding, regulations have become stricter and more clearly defined since 2020/2021 when all asset managers and companies appeared to be rushing to be associated with ESG initiatives. This second report has found serious scrutiny of companies claiming to be ESG compliant by both regulators and stakeholders. It is now deemed unacceptable to be compliant in one of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects but not in all three, as it generally agreed they are integrally linked.

The spectrum of thought concerning the success of the integration of ESG principles has widened with extreme views but as usual the most accurate perspectives lie somewhere in the middle. As a framework for this, the second ESG Report, outlines the varying opinions and thoughts concerning ESG integration in real terms below. Additionally, we assess how ESG is moving slowly towards a global taxonomy firstly through global financial institutions with continued pressure from activists, stakeholders, asset managers and pension fund trustees.

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