ESG issues are becoming increasingly important in Poland in the context of risk management and corporate governance of entities in the financial sector. Currently, it is not just banks, but also asset managers (investment fund companies, brokerage houses and others) that should make disclosures about the fulfillment of their ESG objectives.
Investment firms start to recognize that profit is not their only objective and they must also consider the environmental and social impact of their operations. It has also become clear that portfolios incorporating ESG criteria provide better returns in relation to risk. This tendency will increase; environmental, social and corporate governance factors will be increasingly taken into account by professional investors, not only because of the regulations forcing issuers and asset managers to take certain actions, but also due to the growing awareness and pressure of individual investors, especially the young generation “Z”.
In Poland ESG already influences the valuation of companies. Nearly one in three investors take account of ESG risks in their investment strategy. Research conducted by PwC Polska in February and March this year shows that half of the investors notice these risk, but they do not consider them to be critical; however nearly 30% of the surveyed were willing to reduce their valuation or withdraw from an investment if ESG risks were too high. 43% listed companies have in place an integrated business and sustainability strategy. According to our observations, the current level of awareness of non-financial reporting in Poland is intermediate.
Currently there is PLN 4.5 billion in investment funds with ESG profile, and more funds with this profile are awaiting supervisory approval. This is why our organization makes great effort to contribute to the process of educating the capital market and raising awareness of sustainable development, non-financial risks and reporting.
This is a period of intensive work for us: we organize training sessions, workshops and conferences focused on ESG issues in order to help members of our organization and all other entities interested in adaptation to the new regulations, in changing their strategies and implementing the necessary transformation. We believe that care for the broadly defined environment, in which we live, is not only a legal requirement, but it also shows the level of organizational culture of a company and people representing it.