Investors increasingly interested in ESG performance

ABB received further evidence in 2015 that investors – including an increasing number of mainstream analysts and funds - are showing greater interest in our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and its impact on our business.

For example, one of ABB’s largest investors, which was in the process of setting up its own sustainability department in response to increased interest from clients, listened to an ABB sustainability roadshow presentation, and then invited us to attend a special session later in the year, attended by a wider audience of their senior managers.

ABB has been holding sustainability roadshows for the past three years. During them, sustainability experts are accompanied by members of the Investor Relations team. The meetings help investors evaluate the extent to which ABB’s sustainability commitment is embedded in the company’s business, value chain, policies and processes. The roadshows and related work also lead to greater understanding between sustainability and investor relations professionals within ABB of areas of common interest and priorities.

Some of the most frequent questions and challenges we faced during our sustainability roadshow meetings with investors in London, Paris and Stockholm included:

How ABB will reach its 2020 objective of increasing its revenues by 20 percent from energy-efficient products

How ABB manages integrity issues, particularly in high-risk countries

The level of executive management involvement in and governance of sustainability performance, and the integration of ESG issues into scorecards

How we ensure suppliers meet ABB’s social and environmental requirements, and the consequences of failing to do so

We were able to answer such questions, and further details are provided in the 2015 ABB Group Sustainability Report.

Investors also wanted to know the business impact on ABB of our activities supporting renewable sources of energy. Questions focused on ABB’s positioning in the wind and solar industries, the electric vehicle charging market and advances in battery storage.

For ABB, such exchanges allow the company to gauge which topics are of interest to shareholders, and help us to assess which issues are seen as material to ABB’s success. We incorporate this feedback in our evaluation of stakeholder reactions to our performance. The commitment to engage with investors on these issues is continuing with roadshows in 2016.