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ESG as a key to attracting investors and employees

ECOLOGYESG as a key to attracting investors and employees

According to the latest report, Navigating ESG: ABSL’s 2023 Overview, over 70 percent of business services companies have implemented global ESG strategies in their Polish branches. Defining and implementing ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) policies, integrated with the organization’s business goals, contributes to innovation and prepares companies for changing stakeholder and employee expectations. ESG has the potential to be one of the main drivers of growth for the business services industry.

The business services sector, which employs over 435,000 people in Poland, provides a constant contribution to the economy in the form of service exports, with the estimated industry’s share in GDP at 4.5%. Poland maintains a leading position in Europe in terms of the number of jobs created as a result of direct foreign investment and ranks high in investment attractiveness rankings in Europe and globally. According to ABSL analysis, ESG factors are one of the main drivers attracting further investment.

In the sector, the role of complex processes and highly specialized services is steadily increasing, with their market share reaching 57 percent in 2023. Global roles are being transferred to Poland, also related to ESG reporting, which could become a new specialty of business service centers in our country.

“Business service centers can benefit from the growing role of ESG in two ways. As centers employing specialists from many fields, emphasizing the implementation of these principles into their strategies, they have the opportunity to become examples of sustainable and responsible development for the entire business. The surveyed companies display motivation to take on challenges and mutual learning in this matter, which creates the belief that the sector consists of truly responsible leaders. This belief is reflected in the numbers – over 70 percent of companies have implemented global ESG guidelines in Polish branches. On the other hand, implementing ESG obligations by companies provides an opportunity for further development of our industry based on the competencies of Polish employees, especially those from the analytics area,” explains Agnieszka Orłowska, Vice President of ABSL for ESG.

Implementation of ESG directives and the increasing role of corporate social responsibility are changing the legal landscape and furthermore, ESG reporting may soon become one of the fastest-growing branches of the business services sector. This creates new opportunities for community members companies.

The new EU directives require companies previously reporting according to the NFRD guidelines (Non-Financial Reporting Directive) to start reporting according to ESRS (European Standards of Sustainable Development Reporting) from 1 January 2025. Therefore, more and more companies see the implementation of ESG guidelines as a necessary part of their strategies.

According to the report, 95 percent of companies cite attracting and retaining top talent as the main reason for focusing on DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) as part of ESG. Other reasons include making a social impact (89 percent) and strengthening the brand reputation (86 percent). The surveyed companies from the sector indicate the need to continue activities towards equalizing opportunities between genders. According to the study, organizations are increasingly analyzing differences in the remuneration of women and men (over 50 percent of companies), and 38 percent have taken corrective actions to eliminate pay gaps. In the long-term perspective, ESG will be one of the most important growth stimulants for the entire industry.


The Navigating ESG: ABSL’s 2023 Overview report was prepared by experts from the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) in cooperation with Baker McKenzie, Colliers, and Mercer. The report serves as a guide for organizations in creating sustainable and inclusive environments, adapting to regulatory requirements, and contributing to a more equitable and socially responsible future. The report presents the current state of ESG elements in business services firms, describes the requirements of the ESRS directive, and outlines the threats and opportunities arising from ESG reporting for the sector. The Navigating ESG: ABSL’s 2023 Overview report is available here.

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