Corporate boards and government leaders face increased pressure to demonstrate that they are adequately equipped to oversee environment, social and governance (ESG) issues as stakeholders increasingly make decisions based on ESG credentials, while investors plump for businesses with robust frameworks.
In the Middle East, ESG imperatives are now front and centre for businesses and governments, according to the PwC’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Survey, which examines the challenges, economic opportunities and competitive advantage to be gained from adopting the agenda. The survey of leaders with ESG responsibilities found that companies in the Middle East have a strong sense of what is needed to achieve progress on ESG, however most organisations are only at the start of their journeys. Only 18 per cent of respondents said their companies had teams and systems in place to cover the full remit of ESG functions.
The report indicates that businesses want clearer government policies and regulations to support ESG efforts. Eighty-six per cent of large companies said increased ESG regulation would strengthen and accelerate the implementation of their own ESG strategies.
In Africa, ESG imperatives have also taken a prominent role in decision-making, with ESG integration the leading investing for impact strategy in Southern Africa and East Africa. According to the sixth edition of the African Investing-For-Impact Barometer (AIFIB), sustainability-themed investment is the leading strategy in West Africa, attracting $3.7billion in assets. South Africa, followed by Nigeria and Kenya, leads the way in assets.
Governments of African countries have been urged to integrate ESG into all procurement processes and investment decisions. At a recent roundtable event for African stakeholders in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), speakers called on African governments to be more aggressive in integrating ESG principles into sustainable development guidelines.
According to Rodney Ndamba, chief executive of the Institute for Sustainability Africa, said governments of African countries must integrate ESG into all procurement processes and investment decisions.
He also commented that integrating ESG in the public sector is a window of opportunity for sustainable development in Africa. “According to my research, the African Union does not have an investment protocol incorporating ESG and the same is the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Africa has been lagging behind in adopting voluntary sustainability standards,” he said.
In May, the annual Investing In African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment conference, dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining in Africa, made ESG a key focus of the event.
The conference provided the opportunity for mining companies to consider implementing meaningful strategies and policies as a central part of doing business to not only drive investment into mining across the continent but also to ensure a competitive, sustainable and accountable sector.
Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across the Middle East & Africa for 2022. The awards recognise the outstanding leadership from boards who have raised the bar to ensure that strong corporate governance plays an essential part in protecting and enhancing long-term value for all stakeholders. Our awards program is a vital part of our continuing mission to elevate corporate governance standards globally.
For those companies who have made it to the top of the mountain for 2022, we salute you for leading the way
|Best Corporate Governance||Industrial Services||Aluminium Bahrain (Alba)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Telecoms||Saudi Telecom Company (stc)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Financial Services||First Abu Dhabi Bank (fab)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Insurance||Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Food & Beverage||Agthia Group|
|Best Corporate Governance||Transportation & Logistics||DP World|
|Best Corporate Governance||Mining||
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden)
|Best Corporate Governance||Financial Services||Zenith Bank Plc|
|Best Corporate Governance||Insurance||Old Mutual Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Telecoms||Safaricom Plc|
|Best Corporate Governance||Holdings||
Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO)
|Best Corporate Governance||Construction Materials||LaFarge Africa Plc|
|Best Corporate Governance||Conglomerate||The Bidvest Group Ltd|
|Best Corporate Governance||Pulp & Paper||Sappi Ltd|
Please note that winners for “Europe” region will be announced in the Summer 2022 edition