The Latest ESG News Trends: Sustainable Habits, Carbon Neutrality, and More

A look at the Environmental, Social, and Governance news from PR Newswire in March and April that you might have missed.


ESG News Trends, March-April 2023


By Emily Gielink | Published May 2, 2023


PRNewswire distributed approximately 511 environmental, social and governance (ESG) releases in March and April of 2023. Keeping up with the latest news and trends can be difficult, so we have gathered the top stories to identify key trends in the industry and how they tie together.

Since Earth Day was in April, there we saw an increase in recycling content, eco-challenges, and events to generate donations for wildlife and other conservation efforts around the globe. There was also an increase in the discussion on climate change, with different organizations voicing their action plans to decrease their carbon emissions while also creating new partnerships with environmentally-conscious companies with green technology offerings.

As we move further into 2023, more companies are turning to sustainable options and packaging. They're also focusing on carbon reduction and carbon neutrality, tackling climate change, and creating ESG departments to decrease their impact on the Earth.

Below, we take a closer look at these trends and some of the best-performing ESG releases in March and April.



Popular Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Releases:

Over the past two months, these were some of the most popular ESG press releases:

  • The Hydro Flask Trade-In program is making it possible for consumers to recycle certain used Hydro Flask products, with the goal of helping to eliminate waste and contribute to a more circular economy.
  • United announced its $5 million investment in carbon capture technology company Svante.
  • Deloitte announced the release of three new sustainability-focused accelerators to assist with more effective ESG reporting.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a new all-electric restaurant design that works to maximize energy efficiency.
  • Frito-Lay and Quaker announced the opening of an industry-leading Greenhouse Learning Center at its R&D headquarters.

ESG News Trends

Here’s a look at a few of the trends we noticed among ESG press releases in March and April, with a few examples of each.

Sustainability and Sustainable Products

With a constantly-evolving market and world, organizations are learning to adapt by innovating sustainable products and services to give back to the planet and reduce their environmental footprint. Sustainable products provide environmental, social, and economic benefits to the consumer while protecting both health and the environment.

According to a study from EY, “49% of U.S. consumers say that sustainability is important when making purchase decisions,” and 26% say “sustainability will be the leading factor in all decisions three years from now.”

In March and April, 111 releases mentioned either “sustainable products” or “sustainable habits” and 3,086 mentioned “sustainability”.

In the past few months, PR Newswire distributed numerous releases introducing sustainable products or services that are worth taking a look at:

  • PepsiCo announced pep+ Partners for Tomorrow, a new platform to assist and support customers as they look for custom solutions to achieve their own sustainability goals.
  • Frito-Lay North America is creating sustainable soccer fields from disposed Lay's Potato Chip bags to drive positive outcomes for people and the planet.
  • Do Good Chicken® has diverted approximately 27 million pounds of surplus food from going to landfill, saving more than 3,100 metric tons of greenhouse gases (CO2e) from entering the atmosphere.
  • Nestlé, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and Cargill will support sustainable grazing practices across 1.7 million acres in the U.S. over the next five years.
  • OtterBox kept 3.4 million pounds of post-industrial recycled plastics from landfills by giving them new life as protective cases.

Carbon Neutrality and Decarbonization Efforts

With massive environmental and economical pressures, companies are making pledges toward carbon neutrality and releasing net-zero emissions goals more frequently than ever before. According to Climate Action 100+, 75% of companies have now committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Decarbonization efforts that are becoming more common include investing in green materials, partnerships with other environmentally-conscious organizations to improve workflow capabilities and create sustainable processes, and innovating new technology and sustainability platforms for the accessibility of other organizations.

During March and April, nearly 650 press releases mentioning “carbon neutrality,” “carbon neutral,” or “decarbonization” were sent via PR Newswire, compared to approximately 582 in January and February.

Plenty of releases crossed the wire in March and April in regard to carbon neutrality:

  • Frito-Lay North America completed its first-ever third-party shipment of an electric vehicle (EV).
  • Switch announced its multi-year partnership for the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX to provide the team with resources to support its sustainability goals.
  • GoodPop will join the clean ocean movement, making history as the first food brand to receive its Plastic Neutral Product Certification.
  • Dana Incorporated is accelerating its plan to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and plans to achieve a 75% reduction by 2030.
  • Deloitte launched GreenLight Solution, an end-to-end decarbonization software tool that helps unlock a clear, actionable path to net-zero emissions.

The Race to Net Zero

Continuing into the second quarter of 2023, we are seeing a surge in content regarding the “race to net zero” and the various action plans being put into place globally. The 'ESG Strategies: Accelerating Impact and Net Zero Goals in Consultancy' report from Environment Analyst found that “while the drivers and pressures for action are proliferating, some consultancies have been slow to respond.”

In turn, regulations are on the rise, requiring companies to report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and encouraging reporting on Scope 3 emissions. To meet these regulations and the increasing needs of other companies, new tools and solutions are being crafted to assist on the road to net-zero.

Over the two-month period in March and April, PR Newswire distributed 738 releases tied to net-zero and/or net-zero emissions.

Here are a few examples of recent net-zero releases sent via PR Newswire:

  • Consisting of 23 venture capital (VC) firms across the U.S. and Europe, Venture Climate Alliance (VCA) members have committed to supporting a rapid, global transition to net zero or negative carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.
  • Honda began the operation of a stationary fuel cell power station on its corporate campus in Torrance, Calif., marking the company's first step toward future commercialization of zero-emission backup power generation.
  • Morningstar Sustainalytics launched its Low Carbon Transition Ratings, designed to provide investors with a forward-looking science-based assessment of a company's current alignment to a net-zero pathway that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) held the 2023 edition of its Net Zero Day in Taipei, inviting experts from various sectors to the forum sessions and technology exhibition, where they explored net zero solutions and exchanged insights.

ESG Programs and Eco-Challenges

PR Newswire saw an influx of releases pertaining to new ESG programs and eco-challenges in March and April. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), “Despite, and perhaps because of, macroeconomic challenges, companies will need to continue to refine their ESG strategies.” As SEC and disclosure regulations continue to change, companies are switching gears to ensure they are one step ahead of the competition by offering new ESG-focused positions as well as forming partnerships to reach their goals.

However the ESG programs don’t stop with corporations. According to a Forbes article, ESG focus is starting sooner, "From freshman year through MBA programs, ESG literacy is infused into the curriculum," says Barbara M. Porco, a CPA, clinical professor, and associate dean of graduate studies in the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University.

Here are a few examples of ESG programs and eco-challenges that stood out:

  • United Airlines named Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer as part of a new, consumer education campaign.
  • SpartanNash partnered with Ecodrive to plant 20,000 trees to mitigate global warming and support healthy ecosystems.
  • ESG Book announced the launch of the Corporate ESG Dashboard, a unique and transparent solution for companies to navigate strategic sustainability challenges.
  • Johnson Controls launched a closed-loop steel recycling partnership program with Nucor to recycle nearly 100% of scrap steel in the U.S.
  • SKYY® Vodka announced a multi-year partnership with The Ocean Foundation (TOF) to help drive awareness, education, and action toward helping to conserve and restore the planet's waterways.


As the fears of a possible recession continue and with inflation on the rise, more than ever companies are feeling the impact and in turn are beginning to include all three ESG components into their business models and purchasing decisions. The team will watch these trends, as well as others, as we move further into 2023.


About the Author

Emily Gielink headshotEmily Gielink is a Senior Customer Content Specialist at Cision and has been with the company for almost four years. She is a Bowling Green State University alumni with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.