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How Much Do We Know About Sustainability: The ESG Culture LAB Report

From the results that emerge from the Eikon Italia survey, although citizens have only a partial vision of sustainability, more than 50% of those interviewed know what the 2030 Agenda is, but 76% do not know the acronym ESG. Just over half (59%) have heard of Agenda 2030 – mainly on TV or radio (59%), social media (32%) and newspapers (30%) – and 76% (3 out of 4) do not know the acronym ESG.




97% of Italian men and women who have heard of sustainability spontaneously refer to the environment, while social sustainability emerges only if solicited. Yet, the presence of a female leader is the recognized strength of the institutions and is considered an important step towards gender equality. And while 33% don’t find time to engage personally, 18% declare themselves indifferent. 

The results emerge from the annual survey of the ESG Culture LAB of Eikon Italia, presented at the Palazzo dell’Informazione during the event “The new challenges of sustainability”, organized by Eikon Italia Società Benefit in collaboration with the Adnkronos Group. The survey, which involved 1600 people between 18 and 65 years old, revealed knowledge and perception of sustainability, involvement in the personal and professional sphere, and judgment on institutions and the organizations they belong to.

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How much do we know about sustainability?

From the results that emerge from the Eikon Italia survey, although citizens have only a partial vision of it, more than 50% of those interviewed know what the 2030 Agenda is, but 76% do not know the acronym ESG. Just over half (59%) have heard of Agenda 2030 – mainly on TV or radio (59%), social media (32%) and newspapers (30%) – and 76% (3 out of 4) do not know the acronym ESG. 

In the identikit of those who have heard of Agenda 2030 and ESG, it emerges that men have heard of Agenda 2030 more than women (62% vs 56%) as well as the 18-29 class (68%), who however know fewer ESG objectives (18% vs 25%). Those who live in urban centers with over 240,000 inhabitants are the most informed on the topic (65% vs 57% in smaller centers for Agenda 2030 and 33% vs 21% for ESG). 

Work status also affects knowledge: those who are employed, in fact, have heard more about ESG (28% vs 16% of those who are not employed) just as those who work in the public sector have greater knowledge of the 2030 Agenda than those private individuals (66% vs 57%). Finally, those who work in larger organizations (over 249 employees) are more informed about both the 2030 Agenda (66% vs 41%) and ESG (31% vs 14%) than those who work in micro-companies. 

Responsible consumption and waste disposal are the topics that obtain the highest involvement in the personal and professional sphere and in the judgment of organizations. 80% say they are committed to their personal sphere and are focused on responsible consumption and waste disposal. The fight against climate change is also considered important, connected to the choice of means of transport and with the use of alternative means, when possible. 

The opinion on the involvement of the institutions is quite positive and stable but also presents some critical issues: half of the sample expresses positive opinions on the initiatives to make renewable energy sources more accessible, which, however, at the same time, are still considered too delegated to the individuals. 

Even on the topic of energy efficiency, half of the sample believes that the institutions recognize the urgency and are looking for solutions. In the opinion on the involvement of the organizations in which one works there is, however, a polarized situation on renewable energies: 30% of those interviewed consider them focused but another 28% consider them indifferent. 

The opinion on waste management is more positive, which improves with increasing age. The ability to manage waste is in fact an objective pursued, according to 66%, also by the organizations for which one works. Finally, the sample expresses a more positive opinion regarding their involvement in working life, which records significantly higher values ​​in the over-50 group.

At the forefront is the commitment to reducing waste and experimenting with new ways of working, the strong point (76%) is related to the theme of consumption. The climate emergency is also among the priorities.

Social sustainability, the great unknown

However, very little is known about social sustainability. Social sustainability, for those interviewed, is mainly associated with the themes of inclusion, equity, equality, and parity. Then emerges the community pole of collaboration, solidarity, and support and the more personal one of well-being and health. 

The collective values ​​of peace and security are also significant. In general, people perceive themselves as less involved with social objectives in both their daily and professional lives and attribute the least positive judgments on these aspects to organizations and institutions. Social sustainability also generates more polarized positions and judgments, with higher levels of both focus and indifference. 

A negative opinion on the institutions regarding the interest in youth employment and a positive opinion on the issue of gender equality. Then there is the issue of work-life balance, a critical point in judging the organizations in which one works. In detail, on a personal level, among the social aspects, there is a very high level of involvement with respect to the equal division of tasks in the family, in relation to the care of children, even if, especially women, they highlight an imbalance against them, linked to the inequality remunerative. 

Men, more than women, say they are more involved in taking care of their health and well-being. As regards the judgment on the involvement of the institutions, the presence of a female leader is judged positively, considered an important step towards gender equality, while one of the most critical judgments is attributed to the theme of youth employment, where the attitude of a Government that delegates the problem to individuals or is completely indifferent to 60% of the sample. 

The opinion on the organizations in which one works is more positive (especially for the over 50s), although slightly worsening, with two main trends emerging: 30% of the sample considers them focused while 24% perceives them as indifferent. 

Among the most negative data, work-life balance stands out with a clear polarization. The 30-41 range is the most critical, probably finding themselves facing a more complicated family life. The opinion on equal opportunities was on average positive, with confirmation of the weaknesses associated with career and remuneration. 36% of women judge the organization to be indifferent, one of the most negative figures of the entire survey. 

Finally, in the professional sphere, a dichotomy of judgment emerges: the sample declares itself more involved in the valorization of young people (one of the most positive data of the survey) compared to equal opportunities: 33% are unable to engage personally, and 18% he even declares himself indifferent on this last point. 

Organizational Engagement recorded a slight worsening compared to last year (58% vs 62%) for the issue linked to work-life balance, but the result is mitigated by the slight improvement in equal career opportunities. Finally, the area linked to the professional world improves: involvement relating to the environmental impact and the valorization of young people has a positive impact on the overall opinion (65% vs 58%).


(Featured image by geralt via Pixabay)

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First published in StartupItalia. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.

Jeremy Whannell loves writing about the great outdoors, business ventures and tech giants, cryptocurrencies, marijuana stocks, and other investment topics. His proficiency in internet culture rivals his obsession with artificial intelligence and gaming developments. A biker and nature enthusiast, he prefers working and writing out in the wild over an afternoon in a coffee shop.