According to ESG Today, companies are expecting more challenges when it comes to adapting to these new reporting standards, as per reporting solutions provider Workiva, who conducted the survey.

For its Executive Benchmark on Integrated Reporting 2024 survey, the company talked to almost 900 executives at companies with revenues of over 250 million USD and more than 100 institutional investors in North America.

The survey found, among other things, that over 80% of the investors in North America have not changed their way of financing, while 9 out of 10 investors are in favor of the new and upcoming ESG reporting regulations, as these will help them make more informed decisions. At the same time, 92% of investors believe that ESG data is important when evaluating companies' potential financial forecast, while 88% suggest that ESG data should be taken as serious as the financial performance.

On the other side of the fence, 74% of executives believe that it will be more difficult for their companies to adapt to the new regulation standards in the coming year, while two-thirds of them expressed concerns over whether their companies will be able to adapt to these standards or not. Some might need to implement more intelligent reporting systems, as 65% of company officials said that the software reporting solution they currently use will not be able to meet new regulations.

Workiva ESG Advisor Diana Tidd said that "as executives navigate the complexities of ESG regulation, they are seeking greater control over all aspects of their data and a scalable approach to keeping pace with regulatory demands."

Integrating financial and ESG reporting will likely attract more investors, as well, since 88% of them said would be more willing to financially support a company with integrated reporting.

AI could play an important role in environmental reporting, says the survey, as 83% of executives believe artificial intelligence will be able to help their companies compile the required data required by lawmakers. Despite the potential benefits AI could bring to the table, 72% of executives limited the use of AI-powered tools in business reporting for fear of security risks.