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What is on the mind of Responsible Investors?

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

ESG investor survey

Learn the top questions ESG investors will be asking you in 2018 and how you can lead this dialogue.

Please email us for a copy of the full study:

Open and constructive dialogue with companies is important for investors to gather information and make informed decisions, and for companies to hear investor perspectives and to educate investors on their efforts.

Investor engagement priorities have evolved over time.

Leaders Arena reached out to some of the most influential Responsible Investors in North America and Europe to find out what their engagement priorities will be this year.

What do investors want to address in 2018?

Top ESG engagement priorities for investors in 2018, Leaders Arena survey


Topics related to the environment are central to shareholder campaigns evidenced by recent initiatives such as the Climate Action 100+ and the percentage of shareholder proposals voted on in the United States. In the US alone, environmental-related proposals as a percentage of all types of shareholder proposals (environmental, social and governance, ESG) have doubled in the last ten years.


Across the range of social issues highlighted by the survey, on a global basis, supply chain, pay gap/income inequality and employee diversity were closely aligned. The bigger differentiation came within regions.


Cybersecurity was the highest rated area by investors among governance-related topics, while compensation was a top priority for European Responsible Investors.

How do investors source ESG company information? The role of IR

Interestingly, ESG investors told us IR could still play a stronger leadership role in integrating material ESG aspects into company disclosure and meetings with analysts than they currently do. Meanwhile, the expertise provided by CSR and subject matter experts is highly valued by these investors.

The survey suggests that overall, investors find senior leaders and company CSR reports as the most insightful sources for ESG company data. However, when looking at European investors, ESG data providers are also a widely relied upon source for company sustainability and governance insights.


Overall, we expect 2018 will turn out to be another record year of engagements by investors with companies. Investor Relations teams need to be prepared to respond to incoming ESG-related requests and also be proactive reaching out to investors in order to take control of their companies’ ESG messaging.

Leaders Arena’s unique ESG market intel helps companies to better INTEGRATE, ENGAGE and LEAD their dialogue with Responsible Investors.

Email us at for the full study.

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