Sustainability, good community relations and strong corporate governance used to be considered voluntary for organisations – something the best businesses prided themselves on but which may have been a tick-box exercise for others.

But as more and more investors apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as part of their evaluation process to identify risks and growth opportunities, these non-financial factors are now rising up the corporate agenda.

ESG criteria help investors to avoid companies which may pose a greater financial risk due to their poor ESG practices. Companies with little focus on these areas are increasingly unattractive investment opportunities.

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