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The dynamics in the area of ESG are often primarily reduced to increased regulatory requirements. In financing transactions, however, it can be observed that higher valuations are realised for companies with strongly pronounced ESG characteristics - while at the same time continuing to take into account traditional valuation parameters such as sales growth or free cash flow. ESG factors thus represent value drivers that should not be underestimated for a positive correlation between ESG characteristics and the cost of capital.

At the same time, the ESG ambition level of companies and their competitors is rising rapidly and continuously; their own corporate targets can easily slip below the market level: pioneers are in danger of becoming average. 

In this dynamic environment, decision-makers are looking for orientation and a critical and methodically robust examination of ESG-related corporate goals in order to secure access to the capital markets through the right ESG positioning. Both already listed companies and IPO candidates face this challenge.

Our multidisciplinary counselling approach consists of the following phases:

1. Market analysis

You get a clear view of the ESG positioning of your competitors (peer group) and of the ESG requirements of investor groups for your company. We conduct the peer group analysis taking into account publicly available information such as sustainability reports and ESG ratings but also our access to specialised databases and capital market participants.

2. ESG maturity level of your company

In a second step, your ESG-relevant activities are examined in detail. With the help of an analysis, the relevance of the individual ESG topic areas is determined on the basis of your business model and the upstream and downstream value chain. On this basis, we analyse the status quo of your current ESG strategy as well as existing initiatives and objectives. 

3. Gap analysis

We consolidate the findings from phases 1 and 2 and identify performance gaps, competitive advantages and focus areas. The gaps can be, for example, issues in the areas of reporting, communication, but also of a strategic nature. Likewise, the impact of the identified shortcomings on ESG rating results is assessed. 

Based on this inventory, a level of ambition is set to align the ESG strategy with market requirements.

4. ESG value driver analysis

In order to achieve the desired target (definition of ambition level), measures must be developed to positively influence the identified value drivers, which must be weighed in a cost-benefit ratio. The value drivers for improving ESG performance depend heavily on the business model, maturity and timing of the financing project. 

5. Development of the ESG Roadmap

The ESG roadmap consists of a portfolio of initiatives that can be implemented in the short, medium and long term.