Most companies in Germany have incorporated sustainability issues at the highest levels of management but are struggling to align ESG aspects with their business strategies. This is demonstrated in the recent “Sustainable management” study conducted by KPMG Germany, which surveyed 200 decision-makers from the automotive, manufacturing, transport, logistics and infrastructure sectors on ESG activities at their companies.

Two thirds of respondents said that the greatest challenge was reconciling ESG aspects with their business strategy (67 percent). This rose to 76 percent for companies with sales of over €500 million. 61 percent of all companies also find it difficult to manage, monitor and achieve their ESG targets. One-fifth of companies did not have a clear organisational structure for ESG management.

Lack of available ESG data for holistic management

Many of the companies surveyed do not currently have the key metrics needed for ESG management. One in three companies “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” that they have access to key metrics on social aspects. 40 percent of the companies surveyed said that they have a set of KPIs for managing governance aspects, with this applying at least partially to another 28 percent. 56 percent of the companies have KPIs for managing environmental aspects.

Need to take action on digitalisation

Standardised collection and processing of ESG data is considered another major challenge by the companies, with around half using distributed data sources in different formats. Less than half of those surveyed have binding processes in place for the systematic maintenance and administration of ESG data.


About the “Sustainable management” study

The KPMG “sustainable management” study on ESG management was conducted in the first quarter of 2023 in collaboration with the independent market research institute KANTAR and surveyed 200 decision-makers across Germany in the automotive, manufacturing, transport, logistics and infrastructure sectors on the status of ESG activities at their companies. 

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