CFO East Africa survey ranks investor demands as top ESG influencer

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Close to half of CFOs in East Africa stated that demands from investors is the main trend influencing their organisations’ approach to ESG. This statistic is just one of several interesting findings from the CFO East Africa ESG survey, which involved 120 CFOs representing leading companies in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Close to half of CFOs in East Africa stated that demands from investors is the main trend influencing their organisations’ approach to ESG. This statistic is just one of several interesting findings from the ESG survey undertaken by CFO East Africa, which involved 120 CFOs representing leading companies in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

A quarter of CFOs cited regulatory requirements as the most influential trend while 20 percent of respondents ranked customer demands as the key factor.


With respect to ESG integration in business strategy and decision-making, over 90 percent of CFOs say that their organisations have, at least partially, integrated ESG factors in their strategies.


Close to 40 percent of CFOs said that carbon footprint reduction initiatives were the most significant ESG initiative that their organisation has implemented in the past year, while a similar number pointed out diversity and inclusion programmes as their most significant intervention.

Limited understanding of the many ESG frameworks was noted as a significant challenge in implementing ESG with 35 percent of respondents citing this as the main inhibitor of adoption. A fifth of CFOs stated that the main challenge is a lack of resources for ESG initiatives while a similar number stated that their entities have other priorities which rank higher than ESG.

Almost 80 percent of CFOs stated that they are measuring their ESG initiatives through either quantitative metrics or qualitative assessments or both.

Only 14 percent of CFOs stated that they do not engage with stakeholders on ESG issues with 45 percent of respondents stating that they actively engage. Two-fifths of CFOs stated that they only engage occasionally on the topic.


Only 9 percent of CFOs have implemented the new IFRS Sustainability Standards within their organisations. The remaining CFOs were split between not having commenced work on the standards and implementation in progress.


All CFOs agreed that they have a role to play in ESG implementation in their companies almost 60 percent stating that they should provide oversight and support as well as lead strategy development and implementation of ESG.

 

In an unrelated question to ESG, we asked CFOs whether they consider themselves introverts, extroverts and ambiverts. Fifty-six percent stated that they are ambiverts, a significant 30 percent classified themselves as introverts and, perhaps unsurprisingly, a small percentage (13 percent) consider themselves extroverted.

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