Toronto – Despite transparent political attacks on the ESG investing movement (environmental, social and governance) that are happening in the U.S. every day, one Canadian company has doubled down on what its founder calls “the future”.
A new survey from Onyen Corporation, asked investors and consumers several questions to determine their personal commitments to everything from workforce diversity to ethical supply chains to companies and their obligations to the communities in which they operate.
The Onyen Survey asked 1,506 Canadians several questions related to their intentions as consumers and investors about companies’ labour, diversity, supply chain and environmental activities.
Are we selfish with our cellphones?
Four-in-five consumers (81 per cent) are willing to extend the life of their cell phone an extra year or more if it benefits the environment, according to the survey. However, when we take a closer look at the numbers, only 38 per cent feel strongly about this commitment.
“While the numbers are heartening, the truth is in the details here for many of the responses,” said Laurie Clark, founder, and CEO of Onyen. “Real change happens when people move from feeling strongly about something to acting on it.”
Supply chain safety
Three-quarters of Canadians expressed concern about the environmental risks of transporting hazardous materials, and the same proportion (76 per cent) acknowledged that there are environmental risks embedded in supply chains. However, when taking a closer look at the numbers, only 31 and 22 per cent feel strongly about these categories, respectively.
“With the 10-year anniversary of the deadly Lac-Mégantic rail disaster upon us and the Ohio train derailment still in the news, we wanted to shine a spotlight on Canadian attitudes of supply chain safety,” said Clark. “In my view, while many people want manufacturing jobs in their communities, they often don’t want to inherit the risks of transporting those goods.”
The future of water – aka I know my water footprint
Three-in-10 Canadians say they know how much water is used to grow the food and produce the clothes they buy. However, diving deeper, only five per cent feel strongly about this assertion.
“Water is a major driver of so many ESG metrics,” said Clark. “Onyen is working on giving companies the ability to see their water impacts, 10, 15, 20-years down the road with AI technology that simulates the climate change impact on any land site.”
Sustainability is much easier for the wealthy
Four-in-five Canadians feel sustainable living is much easier for wealthy people. Young adults aged 18-34 believe this in greater frequency (83 per cent) than adults aged 55-plus (75 per cent).
“The onus of sustainability has often been placed on consumers, but that has changed,” said Clark. “As companies seek greater access to capital, and now $175 Trillion dollars in financial assets targeting Net Zero, they will need to consider their ESG strategies and reporting to ensure their ongoing viability.”