The results of the 6th annual Korean ESG review show that management awareness for sustainability management has been further increasing, accelerated strongly since the financial crises of 2008/2009. However, certain areas remain challenging, with little improvement made over recent years. This report focuses on three particular areas:
Governance and the Chaebol structure: an unresolved issue that has spilled into the recent presidential elections.
2012 has seen a development towards integration of sustainability considerations in strategic business decision making in Korea, with many companies exploring sustainable and/or “green” business growth opportunities
Despite significant efforts and public campaigns, Korea’s energy intensity remains significantly above OECD averages. The report looks at the corporate response and the wider challenges for the nation that depends on imports for 97% of its energy needs
Analysis of the financial performance also shows that sustainable management capabilities continue to return better financial results. Shares of sustainable companies also yield higher returns: the SolA50, an index of Korea’s 50 most sustainable companies, continues to outperform the market and SRI benchmarks for a 5thconsecutive year by considerable margins.
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This report quantifies financial bottom-line impacts of the climate change-energy nexus on different business sectors under three different policy scenarios (BAU, TINA, Marshall plan). Key findings of the analysis include:
The combined cost of physical impacts of climate change and rising energy prices complete changes the cost structure. For some sectors, additional cost in 2040 amount to nearly 100% of current cost
On the other hand, new business opportunities arising from climate change and scarcity of fossil resources is still grossly underestimated
The report also shows that the current business-as-usual approach (the BAU or laissez-faire scenario) will be far more expensive than a Marshall approach