How important are Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Issues – and do Americans even know what ESG is? 

Written by

Matt George

Partner, Head of Research

View full profile

Written by

Annie Phifer

Research Manager

View full profile

Written by

Jessa Scott-Johnson

Senior Director - Research

View full profile

Written by

Eunice Yau

Director – Research

View full profile

07.10.24

A Global Strategy Group poll of 1,012 Americans in 2023 found that a plurality of Americans (47%) have never heard of the term “ESG”  and only 22% reported that they had a good understanding of it. Though up from 15% in 2022, solid understanding of the term remains very low.  

However, even though a plurality of Americans have never heard of the term “ESG,” they still prioritize environmental, social, and governance issues in their everyday decision making  quite a bit, in fact. A Deloitte / Tufts University survey of 302 U.S. investors conducted in August 2023 found that a whopping 81% regularly or occasionally seek out sustainability information as part of their due diligence process when investing. And in the Global Strategy Group poll, when given a 0-10 scale (10 being extremely important) at least half of Americans thought ESG issues were very important to consider when it comes to a whole host of topics  from the products they buy, to the foods they eat, to the brands they support, to the investments they make, and to the employers they work for. That covers a whole lot of daily life for Americans. 

This finding suggests that the term “ESG” might need a rebrand  to better capture what Americans already prioritize across their day-to-day decision making.  

See the full reports below:  

https://globalstrategygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SEC-Newgate-ESG-Monitor-2023-USA-Findings-final-1-1.pdf  

https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/issues/climate/earning-trust-with-investors-through-better-sustainability-data.html?id=gx:2el:3pr:4trust_in_esg_fletcher:5GC1000342:6fa:20240209::esgf_press_release