ERM’s quarterly trends report provides a concise summary of the latest sustainability issues impacting the private sector. This quarter’s update tracks four key corporate sustainability macrotrends affecting business decision making:

Trends include:

  • One step forward one step back in the fight against climate change - as climate change continues to break records, bringing with it expected and unexpected consequences, corporate and investor climate action has an up-and-down first quarter.
  • Anti-greenwashing momentum continues as disclosure standards emerge - a transformation in sustainability communications is underway, with the former free-for-all of unsubstantiated sustainability claims being replaced by a standardized disclosure ecosystem.
  • U.S. companies scale back DEI efforts but human rights pressure builds globally - political pressure and legal attacks in the U.S. lead to backtracking on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at U.S. companies. In parallel, human rights due diligence requirements expand after the European Union finalizes the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) and other initiatives to secure human rights emerge.
  • Corporate sustainability ambitions push innovation into new territories - companies are turning to novel solutions to some of their most pressing challenges, from material alternatives and reuse to sustainable fuels and feedstocks.

Our quarterly trends update provides essential reading for any business leader looking to understand the strategic implications of today’s sustainability context.

The April 2024 quarterly trends insights were compiled by Mark Lee, Andrew Angle and Jacco Kroon at the ERM Sustainability Institute.