Do ESG Factors Influence Firm Valuation? Evidence from the Field
66 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2023 Last revised: 31 Jul 2023
Date Written: February 20, 2023
We surveyed more than 300 financial executives on best practices in integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into corporate valuation. Hypotheses drawn from previous ESG research were pre-registered prior to the survey, were tested on responses, and were validated further during follow-on interviews with a subset of valuation experts. Findings show external stakeholders, such as buy-side investors and investment advisors, play a crucial role in guiding the use of ESG in valuation. We confirm that the low quality of ESG ratings data remains a significant impediment to its integration into valuation processes. Additionally, the discount rate is the key parameter adjusted in best practices valuations based on discounted cash flow approaches. We conclude by interpreting our survey and interview results for current efforts by regulatory agencies to promulgate policy on climate-related and ESG reporting.
Keywords: ESG factors, Valuation, Investments, Survey methods
JEL Classification: G31,G32,Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation