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Company & Organisation News - Sustainability Focus - 28/10/2020

V.E releases updated data from COVID-19 Controversies

The effects of COVID-19 have provided an unprecedented stress test of corporate social responsibility. As the pandemic has evolved, our teams have been monitoring companies to assess their exposure to ESG controversies.

In our first issue of this study published in April 2020, we indicated that ESG risks are spread across the full scope of the social value chain, from employee protection to customer support and supply chain management to privacy concerns. In this paper we will provide an update of the evolving risks faced by companies during the second phase of the pandemic with the reopening of most business activities.

Updated Findings

Since the start of the pandemic1, V.E experts have recorded a total of 2922 COVID-19 related controversies (involving 434 events), impacting more than 150 companies from 33 different sectors. Most of the controversies concern European and North American companies3 and focus on Social factors.

Examples of the concerns raised include:

  • Inadequate protective gear for staff
  • Inadequate policies or processes for consumer protection
  • Complaints about salary cuts of employees
  • Disputes over forced, unpaid leave
  • Restructurings
  • Increased strikes and social conflicts on working conditions
  • Concerns over data management and privacy rights
  • Providing misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic

Overall, we see an overrepresentation of sectors and companies with most blue-collar workers in more vulnerable employment positions.

Continue reading in the FULL STUDY below.

For more information, please contact V.E’s Controversy Risk Assessments Product Manager, Jordi Lesaffer:

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Keywords : BecauseESGmatters, COVID-19, COVID19, csr, ESG, Sustainability