UK boards are lagging behind the rest of Europe on confidence in ESG

BoardClic is the leading digital platform for board and CEO evaluations. Our powerful digital platform allows boards to track performance, alignment and composition over time – enabling them to make informed decisions and achieve their full potential.

25 May, 2023
Press Releases
Article by: BoardClic

Stockholm, London, 25 May 2023: New research from digital board evaluation platform BoardClic reveals that only two-thirds of UK board members believe that ESG (environmental, social and governance) activities generate value. The research, reflecting the opinions of more than 1,200 chairs and directors, also shows that one in 10 UK-based boards believe investing in ESG activities adds no value at all.

The research is derived from board evaluations conducted on the BoardClic platform, and reflects the attitudes of chairs and board members in listed companies, financial institutions, and private equity and venture capital firms across Europe.

The research shows that boards in the UK are a lot less likely than their mainland counterparts to believe that ESG activities generate value. In Britain, just 68% of board members believe ESG factors add value, a far cry from the European average of 83% and an even bigger drop from the Nordic region, where 88% of the boards recognise the benefits.

“ESG factors affect all companies in Europe, including the UK. In Britain, the Financial Reporting Council and investors want companies to be more transparent and authentic in their ESG reporting. In the European Union, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive entered into force this year, modernising and strengthening rules on what social and environmental information many companies must report for the 2024 financial year. Clearly, the differences in corporate governance codes between the EU and UK can affect overall confidence in ESG”, says Monica Lagercrantz, founder and CEO, BoardClic.

According to BoardClic’s data, more than 70% of European boards discuss ESG at every board meeting, compared with just 53% for UK boards. That difference goes a long way to explain why UK board members are more sceptical on the value of ESG.



“If a board doesn’t regularly discuss ESG strategically, it’s unlikely that management and employees will incorporate those factors in their daily activities. Integrating ESG into strategy can help companies drive innovation, reduce risk, create new markets, and spur engagement in employees and top management. Using this lens, the stark contrast between the UK and Europe on perception of the value of sustainability activities becomes easier to understand”, Monica Lagercrantz continues.


About this research

BoardClic’s data is derived from more than 1,000 board evaluations conducted on the BoardClic platform, a digital governance platform for board and CEO evaluations. The platform includes feedback from over 3,000 board members across 400 organisations in 50 countries.

This specific dataset, which focuses on ESG and sustainability, is drawn from board evaluations that took place on the platform between July 1, 2022, and February 15, 2023. It reflects the opinions and attitudes of 1,223 (chart 1) and respectively 1,078 (chart 2) chairs and board members in listed companies, financial institutions, and private equity and venture capital firms across Europe.

Contact details:

Mattias Lindquist,