Environmental, social and governance Issues are becoming more important in the deal market. That’s according to a recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The study, which surveyed 300 professionals, found that 68 percent of those planning a divestiture, acquisition, merger, or IPO in the next year are including ESG factors in their evaluations. Several reasons are given: the rising price of natural resources, global climate events, expansion into emerging markets, environmental regulations, and compliance requirements. Investors are also increasingly taking ESG issues into account when assessing the value of a company. The report found that 38 percent of those surveyed noted that investors are the stakeholder group most focused on ESG issues, followed closely by senior management at 36 percent. The goals behind an ESG program vary according to an organization's priorities. When asked to identify the leading areas of ESG focus in their own organizations, 50 percent of poll participants said they are focused on three areas: regulatory compliance and risk management; operational efficiency and effectiveness; and revenue enhancement and other market-facing initiatives. These findings are hard evidence that a growing number of business executives recognize that ESG issues are having a bottom line impact on deal value.

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