Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at the heart of the priorities of Moroccan companies

Faced with the current economic context, topics related to the environment, social issues or governance are increasingly present in public debate every day. The essential question around this debate relates to the new definition of the role of the company in society and the economy. The company of tomorrow will no longer be evaluated solely on its financial performance but also on its social and environmental impact.

With the adoption of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development in 2017 and other multi-stakeholder initiatives, Morocco has embarked on the path of an open and competitive economy capable of generating sustainable and more equitable growth. However, these growth objectives cannot materialize without the implementation of an agenda taking into account Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and the establishment of a regulatory framework conducive to its development.

This framework is in its implementation phase in Morocco, in particular through the Bank Al Maghrib Directives, with regard to financial institutions, the implementation of extra-financial reporting that meets the standards of the Moroccan Capital Market Authority. (AMMC), financing for decarbonization investments in order to cope with European regulatory changes, particularly with regard to exporting companies, etc.

“The Moroccan economic fabric is changing in this post-covid period. Companies must seize this opportunity to initiate and accelerate their transformation in a sustainable way. ESG criteria, beyond a vision of regulatory compliance and risk analysis, will enable companies to ensure better environmental, social and governance performance,” explains Réda Loumany, Territory Managing Partner of PwC in Morocco.

However, integrating more sustainable practices will require more combined efforts from business, government and the financial sector to plan and drive long-term improvements. It must start today for there to be the necessary impact and lasting results for Moroccan businesses and the economy.

According to PwC’s Global Investor ESG Survey 20211, published in November 2021 and conducted among 325 investment professionals (mostly asset managers in 43 territories, including Europe, Middle East and Africa), more and more investors are currently wondering about the notion of positive and negative impact of companies, insofar as this impact is combined with their performance over the long term. Nearly 80% of respondents consider ESG risks an important factor in their investment assessments, and almost half of investors (49%) surveyed say they are willing to sell their stake in companies that do not take enough measures in favor of ESG issues.

“Investments oriented towards Morocco and developing countries will go towards social and environmental projects and towards companies engaged in genuine ESG practices” underlines Réda Loumany, Territory Managing Partner of PwC in Morocco.

Launch of the PwC ESG platform in Morocco, in response to the environmental, economic and regulatory needs of the Moroccan market

The ESG platform set up by PwC in Morocco, aims to support the new challenges of companies in the Maghreb and in particular in the Kingdom. Through this dedicated platform, PwC has deployed a cross-cutting approach to address ESG priorities by making the right strategic choices to position companies for a sustainable future; by implementing ESG aspects in daily operations; by defining and implementing the appropriate non-financial indicators in order to respond to the interests of the various stakeholders.

“The ESG dimension is now fully integrated into our service offerings and business lines in order to enable companies to ensure the best environmental, social and governance performance, to comply with regulatory developments, particularly in terms of extra- financial institutions and take advantage of green financing opportunities”, underlines Assia Benhida, PwC Partner in Morocco, Market & ESG Leader Maghreb.

The launch of this platform was accompanied by a vast global program to increase the skills of PwC employees on the subjects of sustainable development, and which of course covered all employees in the Maghreb.

“Our role at PwC in Morocco is to put the subject of ESG on the agenda of Moroccan leaders’ priorities and to anticipate socio-economic and regulatory developments to better support companies. The commitment and involvement of our employees in this mission is at the heart of our priorities”, concludes Assia Benhida.

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