ThePublic and private entities are increasingly becoming aware of the need to commit to the climate by taking concrete actions that are more respectful of the planet, which is threatened by global warming. This fundamental trend at the global level has led, among other things, to the creation and adoption of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. The ESG criteria make it possible to assess the consideration of sustainable development and long-term issues in the strategy of economic actors (companies, local authorities, etc.).
From this angle, we must appreciate the content of the Global Investor ESG Survey 2021 by the international company PwC (located in Morocco), published in November 2021 and conducted with 325 investment professionals. The document basically states that more and more investors are currently skeptical of the idea of a positive and negative impact for companies, insofar as this effect is combined with their long-term performance.
Nearly 80% of people surveyed by PwC consider ESG risk an important factor in their investment valuations, and nearly half (49%) of the investors surveyed say they are willing to sell their stake in companies that do not take adequate measures. In favor of ESG issues. In view of the above, aspects of ESG have become a major parameter in the eyes of international investors.
What about the kingdom?
In Morocco, it is also time to take into account ESG issues. The Casablanca Stock Exchange, in collaboration with the independent international research and services agency on environmental, social and corporate governance Vigeo Eiris, has created the “Casablanca ESG 10”, a benchmark for environmental, social and corporate governance. The Casablanca ESG 10 Index is a tool to promote the development of good ESG practices among companies that use the capital market. The tool is likely to attract a new class of investors interested in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).
Along the same lines, one of the country’s largest investors, CDG, adopted the Charter for Sustainable Development in April 2022. The public entity thus places sustainability at the heart of its long-term growth model. In this regard, it is important to specify that CDG Invest’s investment decisions take ESG criteria into account.
Maghreb industries, textbook case
Maghreb Industries, the main producer of sweets in Morocco that exports to five continents, is now reaping the fruits of its efforts to invest in clean energies, in this case photovoltaics. In fact, thanks to its green factory with a roof covering an area of 12,000 square meters, and equipped with solar panels, the company has an energy independence and self-consumption rate of 38%. This is a real guarantee of competitiveness, at a time when the industrial energy bill has risen due to the war in Ukraine.
“Our new facility in Casablanca, powered by a 1.4 MW rooftop solar power plant, will allow us to set a new standard of excellence with a lower carbon footprint than any other confectionery factory,” According to Hakim Marrakchi, CEO of Maghreb Industries. The businessman, one of the iconic figures of Moroccan employers, has promised a bright future, as many investors flock to his door tempted by his environmental bias. However, additional financial reporting, which consists of a company communicating on the social, environmental and societal impacts of its activities as well as on the way it is managed, remains the prerogative of listed companies and a few large public and private groups.
The challenge for promoters of sustainable development and long-term issues is to make smaller structures (small and medium-sized enterprises, local authorities, decentralized administrations) give more importance to ESG standards in their management style.