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2022, An ESG Reality Check for Reputations of Europe’s Largest Companies, Report Shows 

With the exception of a strong improvement for healthcare companies, reputation sentiment around ESG factors nosedived in 2022 for many of Europe’s largest companies, concludes a new report today by BOLDT, the European strategy and communications consultancy.

After two years of enormous disruption and shifts in sentiment, reputation gains in many ESG areas across 2021 slipped away rapidly in 2022, a year that saw the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and enormous economic pressure brought on by inflation and cost rises. The report was compiled by BOLDT using ESG data from analysis specialist Mettle Capital that analysed all content referencing those businesses in the public domain.

Despite this challenging context, the report highlights a number of businesses that have navigated the reputation challenges of this period very effectively, and registered ESG improvements across the board:

  • Of the 1,080 companies analysed, 600 saw a fall in reputation sentiment across all combined ESG aspects
  • 19 of the top 20 best performing companies from 2021, saw their ESG reputation sentiment fall in 2022
  • While the likes of ATOS and Michelin maintained strong ESG performance, the big improvers included Prudential and AstraZeneca, with 53.9 percent and 40.7 percent increases respectively
  • Business ethics remained one of the most material drivers of corporate ESG reputation, alongside human rights and community relations, and product quality and safety
  • The gas utilities and distributors sub-sector lost out the most overall, at an average of 18 percent, in a year of energy crisis for Europe
  • The healthcare sector improved at the highest rate of any sector, at an average of 13.2 percent

Download the report