Managing global risks: six lessons on enterprise risk management from over 250 companies

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21 January, 2022


WBCSD insights



Andy Beanland

ESG and ERM: bridging the disconnect

Since 2017, WBCSD has been reviewing corporate sustainability reports, annual reports, board charters and other publicly available information of approximately 280 companies, spanning 16 sectors across four regions, to track progress on the integration of ESG into ERM, governance, and assurance approaches. Four years of data analysis and collaboration with these companies and our partner organizations suggest there are many reasons why we can feel encouraged there is a stronger connection between ESG and ERM today:

 The percentage of companies that had zero alignment between the material topics listed in their sustainability report and the topics covered by legal risk filings was reduced from 29% in 2017 to 17% in 2020Companies who engaged with WBCSD in our work on enterprise risk management were more likely to have improved the integration of ESG and ERM by 10 percentage points.

Figure 2: Sustainability topics are unevenly represented in legal risk filings.

Allaying fears and taking action