Sustainability ratings just a gimmick?

Amid mounting criticism of business operations’ environmental and social impacts, businesses are proudly showcasing their sustainability ratings and awards to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development. Yet, do these accolades credibly reflect such commitment, or are they just a public relations tool?

This scepticism resurfaced recently when a prominent Thai conglomerate was named one of the world’s most ethical companies in 2024, despite public criticism about their operations.

These sustainability awards and ratings are sought after by the business sector because investors and creditors no longer solely focus on financial performance. Also important for them is business sustainability practice, referred to as ESG — short for environment, social, and governance.