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The State of Social in ESG

A report by ESG Global Advisors & Argyle

November 2022


A new era for the S in ESG.

The pandemic and cultural and socio-economic reckonings that followed have ushered in a new era for the ‘S’ in ESG. In the wake of rapidly evolving social expectations, and in the context of an unprecedented battle for talent, management teams have strived to build more inclusive and human-centric work environments. Most organizations are adapting to the post-pandemic world by offering employees flexibility, increasing their commitments to employee health and safety, and educating their teams about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and Indigenous reconciliation. Indeed, as these practices become more widely adopted, they may be regarded as new norms that contribute to an organization’s social license to operate.

There remains much work to be done for businesses to manage their exposure to social risks and opportunities, particularly those related to complex and evolving social issues including DEI, Indigenous reconciliation, and human rights.

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executive summary

Why do we need research?

Why and how organizations should integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into business and financial decisions has been a live and evolving conversation in North America for more than a decade. That discussion has never taken up more space in boardrooms, regulator agendas, or mainstream media than it does today.

What is the state of social practices 2022?
How are organizations adapting and managing their social performance in this new era?
What are employees' expectations, and how do they evaluate their employers' progress?
How can organizations benchmark their practices against others?

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