How business leaders in Romania perceive the different facets of sustainability

How business leaders in Romania perceive the different facets of sustainability

The consulting company Valoria and CSRmedia.ro launched the first edition of the study "Dynamics and perspective of the ESG field in Romania"

• 79% of companies are familiar with the ESG field, and 68% say they have a formal strategy related to this field.

• 69% of companies consider the costs associated with ESG to be very high and to a large extent justified by the benefits brought to the company.

• The two main reasons why companies have chosen to develop ESG frameworks are business resilience (56%) and positive impact on the community (56%).

The consulting company Valoria and CSRmedia.ro launched the first edition of the study "Dynamics and perspective of the ESG field in Romania". This is the only study that brings to the attention of the business environment clear results regarding the strategies, approaches and difficulties of adopting ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) in Romania.

"It is gratifying to see that more and more companies are making a serious commitment to environmental, social and governance issues. This study provides a detailed insight into how different categories of respondents perceive and address ESG challenges and opportunities in Romania", declares Lacramioara Botezatu, CEO, CSRmedia.ro and ESGmedia.ro.

Conducted at the end of 2023, through a questionnaire answered by 191 representatives of important multinational and entrepreneurial companies, the study brings to the fore the different perspectives of the four categories of respondents: CEO and top management, the CSR/ESG team, the marketing team and, separately, other middle management managers.

The importance of sustainability is reflected in regulation

According to the results, 64% of CSR/ESG team members, 58% of marketing team members and 51% of top management team members say they are very familiar with the concept of ESG. This underlines the importance these companies and categories of professionals attach to the field of sustainability and social responsibility.

Another aspect highlighted by the study is the fact that 65% of companies believe that regulatory changes and stricter standards are the main transformations observed in the field of ESG in the last 3 years. At the same time, 25% of the members of the top management team and 25% of those of the CSR/ESG team say that the transparency brought by ESG in terms of previously unreported data represents the most obvious change in this field.

Of course, things are never simple, that's why 59% of the responding companies mentioned data management and reporting in the first place among the challenges encountered in the implementation of ESG practices, while 55% mentioned the allocation of the necessary resources in this area.

Integrating ESG and choosing relevant themes in the overall strategy

Regarding the integration of ESG aspects into the overall strategy, 53% of companies have clearly defined their ESG values, principles and mission. At the same time, 52% believe that they have best integrated environmental aspects into their ESG strategy. Another 55% of companies say investors demand clear ESG goals.

Differences in perspective also become apparent in identifying relevant ESG themes. If 37% of companies have a mixed process to identify them, 34% have an internal process, and only 10% measure the company's current ESG impact very well.

The results highlight that all categories of respondents consider resistance to change to be the main challenge encountered in the implementation of ESG practices, with varying percentages: 29% marketing team, 24% CSR/ESG team, 23% middle management managers and 19% general directors and the top management team.

Importantly, 76% of companies engage their employees in ESG initiatives through awareness and education, 57% through creating a culture of sustainability, 31% through personal development opportunities, and 22% through recognition and rewards.

The costs of ESG implementation justify the benefits to the company

The results of the study show that 69% of companies consider the costs associated with ESG to be very high, but largely justified by the benefits brought to the company. In addition, 61% say that ESG initiatives have had a positive impact on the organization's performance.

The study also points out that 52% of the responding companies estimate that the importance of ESG will increase significantly in the next 5 years, and 55% say that ESG-related regulations will become more rigorous in Romania in the near future.

"The conclusions of this study offer the Romanian business environment a valuable guide for adapting to changes in the ESG field. It is obvious that sustainability and social responsibility are not just trends, but are becoming fundamental elements of business strategies for a sustainable future", says Elena Badea, Managing Director, Valoria.

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About the study

The study by Valoria and CSRmedia.ro regarding managers' perception of the evolution of companies' ESG perspective is based on a questionnaire that analyzes the responses of 191 top executives from companies active in various industries. The questionnaire was applied between 2 October 2023 and 6 November 2023. Of the respondents, 43% come from companies with a turnover greater than EUR 100 million, 7% from companies with a turnover between EUR 50-100 million, 17% with turnover between EUR 10-50 million, 16% with turnover between EUR 1-10 million and 17% below EUR 1 million turnover. 11% of respondents hold the position of CEO/President/General Manager, 15% hold the position of Sustainability/CSR/ESG Director, 24% hold the position of Marketing/PR/Communications Director, and 16% hold the position of Sustainability/CSR/ESG Specialist. This study was carried out in partnership with CSRmedia.ro.

About Valoria

Valoria is a consulting, training, and executive coaching company. Through our services we help entrepreneurs develop their businesses and make success concrete and predictable. Companies turn to us for marketing, HR and sales consulting. We often respond to requests to train or coach management teams. Competence, trust, innovation and passion are the values we uphold in everything we do. We build long-term partnerships and collaborations because we offer guaranteed results and the best quality at the right price. In 2022, the Daily Finance publication nominated Valoria in the Top 20 management consulting companies in Bucharest. Find out more at: www.valoria.ro.

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