alva, the stakeholder intelligence company, has published an ESG report focussing on the Professional Services industry, highlighting the increasing expectations on professional service firms around their ESG agendas and priorities.
The Professional Services ESG Intelligence report analysed and rated companies on ESG led activities and performance, benchmarking against issues including inclusion & diversity, greenhouse gas emissions and business ethics.
alva’s report reveals that ESG scores across the sector this quarter continue to improve with 90% of companies ranked positively for accelerating their ESG efforts. Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton and PwC comprise the top three rankings with positive drivers for these firms including employee engagement, diversity & inclusion, human rights & community relations and greenhouse gas emissions generating a positive sector impact greater than 20%. In contrast, McKinsey ranks at the bottom of the benchmarking report due to ethical concerns, although its scores have improved quarter on quarter.
The benchmarking report also reveals that US companies outperformed their UK peers this quarter with employee engagement and inclusion & diversity driving positive scores in the US. In comparison, these same drivers negatively impact ESG ratings in the UK.
Recent attention around key international events such as COP26 and International Women’s Day has contributed to the increased focus from the sector on inclusion & diversity and climate change, leading to more ESG commitments made by companies and higher ratings within the sector.
Last quarter, top performers included PwC, Accenture and Boston Consulting Group, and bottom of the ranking was McKinsey due to ethical issues. These continue to remain a negative factor, keeping McKinsey at the bottom of the ranking this quarter.
Alastair Pickering, Co-founder, alva, comments: “With increasing demands and pressure around ESG integration for businesses, we are seeing greater expectations for the professional services industry but also a shift in perceptions as efforts have ramped up. There has been a strong ESG narrative delivered by the sector which has raised expectations of further delivery, demonstrated by positive efforts across the sector this quarter. However, with a number of major firms facing criticism for perceived failures to live up to their own commitments, this ‘said vs done’ narrative is a particular focus for critics and the gap between intentions and delivery needs to narrow.”
alva analysed and benchmarked 10 Professional Services companies across the UK and US for the purpose of this report.