APAC firms report more sustainability mentions than North America, Europe counterparts in 2020, finds GlobalData

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the discussions around sustainability in 2020, with Asia-Pacific (APAC) companies leading the way.  The mentions of sustainability in all the filings of APAC companies grew by over 80% in 2020 over 2019, finds GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Rinaldo Pereira, Senior Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While sustainability discussions may be high for APAC firms, European counterparts seem to be more assertive, having over 45 mentions per company in 2020, versus slightly below 30 mentions per company for APAC. Continued efforts on attaining long-term sustainability goals seem to be the need of the hour for APAC companies as they try to catch up with North American or European peers in terms of climate change or social goals. In 2021*, North American companies have the most mentions of ‘sustainability’.”

According to the GlobalData’s Company Filing Analytics Platform, the top three APAC companies with the most cumulative discussions during 2016-2021 are from the financial services (FS) sector. In APAC, the FS, construction and power sectors had the most mentions of sustainability in 2020.

Mr. Pereira concludes: “In APAC, the FS sector seems to be more focused on green sustainable investments as is evident from the majority of the discussions. However, divesting from non-green portfolios is easier said than done and will require gradual transitioning. There are stringent standards to be met to achieve a net-zero economy and China expects to reach net-zero by 2060.

“While APAC firms’ sustainability initiative discussions are necessary, it also critical to act on pledges like several European or North American counterparts and pay heed to the sustainability metrics while enabling transitions. APAC companies will benefit from full-fledged government incentives on renewables, sustainable materials and vehicle electrification are likely to help achieve the targets step-by-step while also imposing stringent carbon taxes.”

* Until 21 May 2021

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