ESG Monitor Key Findings:

Securing energy prices and transitioning to renewables make our country’s priority list.

Ensuring secure and affordable energy and fuel supplies is one of the top three priorities for our country’s future, according to respondents participating in the Polish edition of SEC Newgate ESG Monitor. 

  • Respondents also mentioned the need to address the rising cost of living, strengthen the economy and transition to renewable/clean energy sources.
  • The most important ESG issue for Polish companies to focus on is environmental protection, named by 34% of Polish respondents. 
  • The industries that Poles rated the lowest in terms of their ESG performance include mining & resources, aviation, and the chemical industry.
  • More than 80% of Polish respondents believe that our country is heading in the wrong direction. This means that we are the most pessimistic nation of all those surveyed under SEC Newgate ESG Monitor.

SEC Newgate ESG Monitor is a global survey of more than 12,000 respondents from 12 countries. Its aim is to monitor the awareness of and interest in ESG. This year’s results of the survey, which included Poland for the first time, confirm concerns over the war in Ukraine, the impact of the pandemic, rising energy prices and a sharp rise in inflation.

The top three priorities for Poland’s future named by respondents were the need to address the rising cost of living (41%), the need to strengthen the economy (33%) and the need to secure affordable energy and fuel supplies (33%). Asked about the most important issues for our country today, Polish respondents subsequently mentioned ensuring proper healthcare for everyone (32%), improving worker’s pay and conditions (26%), ensuring secure and affordable food supplies (18%), improving our country’s defence capability (17%), transitioning to renewable/clean energy sources (14%), managing the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war (13%) and acting decisively on climate change (11%). 

When asked an open-response question about the one ESG issue respondents felt was most important for companies in Poland to focus on, protecting the environment was the clear front-runner. In Poland, environmental protection (34%) was definitely the most important issue, followed by workers’ rights (10%) and social issues (6%). Poles also prefer corporations to bear the burden of ESG performance. Respondents believe that companies’ ESG performance is much more important than their personal efforts that translate into purchase decisions.

  • The importance of companies taking action on ESG issues – the average for Poland was 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 meant “extremely important”.
  • The importance of ESG issues in day-to-day purchase decisions – the average for Poland was 5.9 on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • Both scores were lower than in other countries!

When it comes to specific industry ESG performance, the industries rated the lowest by Polish respondents were mining & resources (4.8 on a scale of 1 to 10), aviation (5.2) and the chemical industry (5.2). By contrast, the highest-rated industries in terms of their ESG performance were online marketplaces and e-commerce (6.0 on a scale of 1 to 10), technology & telecommunications (5.9) and banking & financial services (5.8). Globally, the highest scores were received by healthcare, supermarkets, and education & training, closely followed by technology & telecommunications, agriculture, and hospitality. Overall, the chemical and mining industries were given the lowest scores.

Poles rate companies, both large and small, lower than any other nation. Polish ESG Monitor respondents awarded the lowest rating of all nations surveyed to both large companies (5.5 on a scale of 1 to 10) and small businesses (5.1 on a scale of 1 to 10). Conversely, participants from the United Arab Emirates rated both small and large companies the highest. Interestingly, respondents from the United Arab Emirates and Singapore admitted that they value large companies more than small ones in terms of ESG. By contrast, those in the USA, Australia, Germany, Sweden, and the UK gave much higher ratings to smaller businesses over large corporations. 

Zofia Bugajna-Kasdepke
Woman to Watch in 2022 on the Forbes Women Power Rising List (Poland). Heroine of the "Women of Success" series in the Vogue Poland magazine.
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