Why ESG Deserves a Slide at Your Next Investor Day

Written By Angie Mazza, Senior Director, Corporate and Practice Development

May 20, 2021

If you are thinking about planning an investor day, you aren’t alone. Whether virtual or in-person, investors are looking for companies to update them on their strategy in a post-COVID world. This strategy should also include how the company is progressing on their ESG initiatives.

Ready or not, ESG is now viewed as a component of a company’s long-term strategy. Investors want to hear updates related to ESG periodically, rather than once a year or every other year from an updated corporate sustainability report. Companies are increasingly taking advantage of additional opportunities in front of investors to deliver pertinent ESG progress. According to FactSet, 129 companies in the S&P 500 mentioned “ESG” in their earnings calls from December 15, 2020, through March 5, 2021. And, ESG slides in investor presentations are now common. Meeting near-, mid-, or long-term ESG goals requires participation from the organization at large, so it makes sense that ESG deserves a slide in your company’s next investor day presentation.

To prove your company is progressing on its ESG commitments, there are a few different ways you can share an update with investors at your next investor day.

Achievements & Progress Updates – Investors expect your company to be taking action on ESG, so this is a good place to showcase actions, standings, goals, or even high ESG rating scores.

Applied Materials, Inc.

  • Emphasizing its achievements on slide 19, Applied Materials lists its scores from CDP (climate and supplier survey results), MSCI, and Sustainalytics.
  • In providing updates, the company confirms it is on track to reach 100% renewable energy in the U.S. by 2022 and globally by 2030, and to report aligned with TCFD by 2022.

Lydall, Inc.

  • Within the “Accelerate Value Creation” section, Lydall shares its E, S, and G commitments and actions the company took during the year to further these goals.

Okta, Inc.

  • At the end of the presentation on slide 106, Okta covers ESG achievements from 2020, which includes publishing a web page with progress, GHG emissions, and an initial Diversity & Inclusion report.
  • Additionally, Okta announced its 2021 commitment to achieving 100% renewable electricity for its global real estate footprint by 2022.

Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc.

  • Slide 48 in the CEO’s section is dedicated to outlining the actions Simpson Manufacturing has taken to date, such as an ESG report and updated 2020 metrics, established an ESG task force, and enhanced disclosures on human capital management.

Sun Life Financial Inc.

  • On slide 41, Sun Life communicates sustainability is connected to achieving long-term outperformance, and uses the logos of UN SDGs, PRI (proudly listing an A+ score for 2020), and TCFD.

Mid- and Long-Term Goals – Share goals that go beyond the next year. At an investor day, investors will want to know how the goals fit into your company’s strategy. Targeting dates 5 to 15 years out will help investors understand how the goals are tied to your longer-term strategy.

Avery Dennison Corporation

  • On slide 9, the company displays charts with metrics impacting all stakeholders and ties in the ESG component of the company’s strategy, “Continuing to lead in an environmentally and socially responsible manner with New 2030 Goals.” 
  • On the following slides it touches on diversity of the Board and the senior leadership team.
  • Within the appendix, slide 57 shares the path towards reaching Avery Dennison’s 2030 goals, with a breakdown of targets and metrics tied to each broader objective. 

Kroger Co.

  • As part of the go-forward strategy, Kroger outlines its sustainability initiatives by outlining 2025 goals, including zero food waste, donating 3 billion meals, and eliminating single-use plastic bags, and disclosing 2030 goals of 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging and a science-based goal to reduce absolute GHG emissions by 30%.
  • The company shares that it now has a 64% ethnically and gender diverse board.   
  • Kroger dedicates slide 16 to listing its human capital management initiatives for employee benefits and programs.

Integrate ESG – Prove ESG is part of company’s core values. By dedicating a section to ESG or weaving related topics throughout the presentation, you can make a statement signifying the level of importance your company places on ESG.

BorgWarner Inc.

  • With electrification as a key part of its strategy, BorgWarner ties sustainability into a large number of slides, from its mission and vision to acquisitions and the sales projections of electric vehicles through 2030.
  • On slide 11, it provides charts with a 2015 baseline for achieving the goals set to reduce GHG emissions and energy, which will contribute to the company’s larger goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035.
  • BorgWarner also shares a slide with high-level diversity metrics on gender, minorities, and leadership.

Celanese Corporation

  • Starting on slide 58, Celanese dedicated a section to sustainability, calling out the company’s values and the E, S, and G topics in-focus at the company.
  • Slide 61 shows the structure of its ESG Council with the Board’s oversight, including an Environmental, Health, Safety, Quality, and Public Policy Committee.
  • In the following slides, the company gives both quantitative and qualitative updates while connecting the environmental and social progress to the overarching objective.
  • To conclude the section, Celanese provides a roadmap with the next steps it is taking in its sustainability program.

Conveying your company’s ESG narrative at the investor day is an opportunity to show investors ESG is on your radar. By interlacing the story with your company’s long-term objectives, you can communicate how your company is proactively improving or striving to be an industry leader in terms of ESG.

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