October 19, 2021
Familiarity among middle market executives with the use of ESG criteria to evaluate the performance of businesses, organizations and/ or investments rose significantly in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter in 2019, according to the third-quarter RSM US Middle Market Business Index survey, which polled executives from July 8 through July 26 on ESG- and climate change-related questions. In the last part of 2019, 39% of executives were very familiar or somewhat familiar with using ESG criteria to evaluate performance, and in Q3 2021, that figure was 69%. The 30-percentage-point increase over that time is “just a dramatic change and indicative of how much interest there is today for ESG within the middle market,” says Anthony DeCandido, a partner at RSM US and a lead advisor in the firm’s ESG consulting practice.
And the rise of ESG is about more than just awareness—a majority of survey respondents indicated that their organizations are taking action to incorporate these issues into their operations.