New York – EIRIS, a global responsible investment research specialist, published its new report titled State of Responsible Business (Asia), which concludes that Asian companies, specifically those in Japan and South Korea, are making steady progress in successfully addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. The report also shows that European companies are sill the global leaders addressing ESG challenges.
EIRIS’ 14-page report analyzes various ESG-related issues including bribery, climate change, environment, health & safety, human rights, supply chain labor standards, and corporate governance. It shows that companies in Japan and South Korea have the highest overall performance on ESG issues among Asian companies. Conversely, companies in Hong Kong, China and Singapore have failed to make significant progress in addressing ESG factors.
EIRIS’ report focuses on 786 Asian companies and evaluates how well they are addressing ESG issues. The report compares the performance of these Asian companies with their European and North American peers. In total, the report analyzes ESG performance of 2090 companies globally (of which 56 are in China, 12 2 in Hong Kong, 47 in Singapore, 111 in South Korea, and 450 in Japan). Some of the report’s key points include:
- Japanese companies demonstrate the strongest ESG performance in Asia, closely followed by those in South Korea. Companies in China still lag behind others in Asia.
- Asian companies perform well on climate change, but still need to address other ‘material’ environmental risks arising from water management and biodiversity.
- Social stakeholder issues remain a key challenge. Almost all (90%) of Asian companies with operations in countries relevant for human rights concerns have no human rights policies in place.
- Over 90% of the world’s 2,090 largest companies have left at least one ESG risk unmanaged.
- The biggest drivers of ESG improvement in Asia are likely to come from regulatory pressures, reporting requirements and the development of sustainability indices.
ABOUT EIRIS: EIRIS is a global provider of independent research into the environmental, social, and governance, (ESG) and ethical performance of companies. The company has more than 28 years of experience conducting research and promoting responsible investment strategies, and it provides services to more than 100 asset owners and asset managers globally. EIRIS’ helps clients to create their own ESG ratings and rankings, to engage with companies and to create specific funds. EIRIS has offices in London, Boston and Paris. Additionally, it has a global network of local research partners in 8 different countries.