Looking after the environment is the “morally the correct thing to do” for companies, according to a new survey.

The Better Society Awards and public relations firm Citigate Dewe Rogerson questioned 500 workers, more than half of whom were senior managers.

They found 47% of respondents think companies can improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards without reducing profits.

A total of 54% think that a business’s actions on ESG issues will affect its reputation.

‘No impediment to profit’

Mark Evans, Director of the Better Society Awards, said: “Many companies now can see that their organisation’s ESG position is driving higher long-term profitability.

“This represents a sea change in perception; ESG was only notionally considered in the previous decades, but now is not only fully accepted, but seen as no impediment to profit.”

Jonathan Flint, Managing Director at Citigate, added: “Public consciousness of ESG issues continues to rise, putting ever more pressure on companies to demonstrate good behaviour.”

> Download Citigate's white paper on ESG