At the ESG Integration Forum – Europe 2022, IR Magazine caught up with Jana Jevcakova, managing director and head of ESG International at Morrow Sodali, to discuss investors’ expectations with regards to ESG and what companies can do to improve on the ESG integration front and get their priorities right.
As the ESG movement continues to experience a backlash, Jevcakova shared insights on the role IROs play in ensuring companies stay clear of greenwashing accusations.
‘I always say: come up with your own story or someone else will,’ she said. ‘That’s how you can address the backlash, but that’s how you can also address potentially some rumors about your company or something activists might come up with – they love to use the media.
‘If a company has strong business strategy, if it has a strong story behind it, a good rationale and if it has strong relationships and trust with the market and with investors, that’s basically the strongest defense it can use.’
For Jevcakova, the backlash is due to a politicization of the ESG movement and she stressed that the pushbacks are mostly impacting North American firms more than European or Australasian ones.
‘I think [the backlash] is largely political and is used for political agendas,’ she stated.
‘Events in the states of Florida and Texas where potentially some investors might now get punished if they include ESG in their decision-making [demonstrates that] this is highly politicized. [We will see] where this will lead but, at large, if you think about investors across Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific, we’re not hearing this sort of rumor.
‘It [all] sounds very vocal, very noisy, very strong and significant but in the grand scheme of things, when you look at the whole world and how investors make decisions, I think that this is a short-term glitch.’
To find out more about the ESG Integration Forum – Europe and watch the replay, please click here. Watch our additional IR TV video with Q4 at the event here.
Listen to The Ticker #133 to hear our team’s big takeaways from the forum.