Closing the Sustainability Gap: Investor relations in the spotlight

07 December 2016

SustainAbility, a think tank and advisory firm which enable business to lead the way to a sustainable economy, has published its latest report, Closing the Sustainability-Investor Relations Gap. The research makes the case for stronger internal engagement between Sustainability and Investor Relations (IR) teams to enable proactive, integrated communications to investors.

In Closing the Sustainability-Investor Relations Gap, SustainAbility highlights five key gaps where Investor Relations and Sustainability teams feel misalignment:

  1. Language – Differing terminology to describe, and different indicators to measure, company performance
  2. Timeframe – Companies and their IR teams are pressured by investors to report on short term results while Sustainability teams often focus on issues that play out over the medium to long term
  3. Expertise – Inadequate levels of mutual comprehension and technical capacity in the respective disciplines of IR or Sustainability
  4. Relationships – Lack of strong internal relationships between IR and Sustainability departments and team members
  5. Resources – Not enough staff time or other resources dedicated by Sustainability and/or IR departments to integrate sustainability issues and sustainability performance data into investor communications

The report examines each gap in detail, exploring the reasons, the pain points and solutions that have been proven to help close the gaps. It includes case studies in which companies have successfully applied the solutions to build stronger internal collaboration on investor communications.

Eurosif's Executive Director, Flavia Micilotta, is quoted in the report - “Even if investors are not interested in ‘sustainability’, as such, what Investor Relations can learn from Sustainability professionals is how to make their company more attractive to investors. It is material for IR teams to understand how they can maximize their potential to seek investment.”

To download the full report, please click here.