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Over two-thirds of U.S. adults say companies should publicly report progress on environmental issues

79% of job-seekers want to work for a company committed to addressing climate change

NEW YORK, June 4, 2021 – While most Americans have never heard of the term “ESG,” the majority of U.S. adults say they want to work for a company that places a priority on environmentally sustainable business practices, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of SK Group.

The survey of 1,500 U.S. adults was conducted in May 2021 to gauge U.S. attitudes about corporate sustainability. These principles are part of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards increasingly being used by socially conscious investors and other stakeholders to evaluate a company’s operations.

Sustainability release graphic

The survey results, released shortly before World Environment Day, revealed the current and future U.S. workforce wants companies to measure and report on their environmental impact. This commitment to sustainability is even more important for the younger generation and for those actively seeking new jobs. Highlights of SK Group’s U.S. sustainability survey include:

  • More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) think it’s important for companies to be transparent about their sustainability commitments and publicly report on their progress on environmental issues. This sentiment is even higher for those 18-34 years with 74% saying it’s important.
  • More than half of U.S. adults (53%) say it’s important to work for a company with a strong commitment to addressing climate change.
  • Gen Z and Gen Y had the highest response rates with 59% and 64%, respectively, saying it’s important their company is committed to addressing climate change. Almost four-in-five (79%) active job seeker say it’s an important factor for their next company.
  • About half (52%) of U.S. corporate employees say their company’s environmental sustainability practices are aligned with their own.
  • Most Americans (59%) have never heard of the concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices for corporations and another quarter are only somewhat familiar.

Environmentally sustainable business practices have become an increasing focus for global corporations as part of the broader ESG movement. The World Economic Forum and the United Nations have advocated the use of ESG measurements and accountability standards for businesses and their investments. The SK survey shows that most Americans also place a high value on sustainable business practices.

“Environmental sustainability isn’t only a lofty topic discussed at global business forums and academic conferences,” said Hyung-Hee Lee, Social Value Committee President of the SK Supex Council. “Whether they know the ESG acronym or not, employees across all levels want to work for organizations that are having a positive impact on the environment and doing their part to address climate change.”

The SK Group Commitment to ESG

SK Group, a South Korea-based organization with U.S. operations in more than 10 states, has made environmental sustainability central to its global growth plans. SK has made significant investments in the U.S. in renewable energy, recycling and advanced semiconductor materials that make electronics more efficient.

SK Group was a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance, a group of companies working on globally accepted standards by which social value can be quantified, measured and compared. SK Group companies also were the first South Korean businesses to join the Climate Group’s RE100, a group of global companies committed to moving toward 100% renewable energy.

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