Export: Sustainability often only plays a minor role
World trade is an important engine of growth, but also responsible for CO2 emissions. For many export companies, however, issues other than sustainability are currently high on the agenda.
According to a survey, the topic of sustainability currently plays only a minor role for many global export companies.
Most of the respondents (74 percent) in six industrialized countries do not consider sustainability aspects such as the environment, social issues and good corporate governance (ESG) when selecting their export markets, according to a study by the credit insurer Allianz Trade. In Germany, 33 percent of companies stated that ESG principles had influenced their choice of export markets.
Half of the 2,500 companies surveyed (Germany 47 percent) would rather switch to more sustainable suppliers than initiate changes towards sustainable processes or production themselves, “ESG criteria have not yet been a top priority for many companies. They only play a supporting role, if at all, »said Allianz Trade economist Ana Boata. “One of the reasons for this is that companies currently have to keep many balls in the air at the same time – including high energy and transport costs, supply chain disruptions, higher financing costs and a shortage of skilled workers.” However, companies that set the course for more sustainable action now would have a very good starting position in the future.
According to the survey, a good third (36 percent) of exporters in the three largest EU economies, Germany, France and Italy, increased their prices to offset carbon taxes. “This also shows that carbon prices are still too low to trigger change in companies or to drive up sales prices,” argued Milo Bogaerts, head of Allianz Trade in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
According to the study, export companies have various options for making cross-border trade more sustainable. For example, they could use more environmentally friendly materials or switch to less environmentally harmful processes. Another option: You can choose business partners who act more sustainably.