January 31, 2023

Impact of Digital Accessibility in ESG Reporting

Complex ESG Reporting and Forgotten Digital Accessibility

Adoption of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices is complex and constantly evolving in the global business landscape. Therefore, it is not surprising that companies have taken the time to navigate around ESG and how to best incorporate ESG into existing operations.

Most companies today recognize that ESG metrics are beyond the compliance checkbox, and they are directly linked to their growth and reputation. While some have successfully built frameworks around the Environmental, Social, and Governance pillars, not many have been able to fully establish the “Social” component into their operations, particularly “digital accessibility” which is often overlooked.



How can digital accessibility positively impact your ESG strategy?

Improves User Experience and Inclusion

Over 1.3 billion people worldwide have some form of disability, and their combined spending power is reported to be $8 trillion. Therefore, digital accessibility should not only be a priority for meeting compliance goals, but it also allows companies the opportunity to extend their market reach, boost revenue and increase customer satisfaction by delivering equal access to everyone.


Accessibility Enhances Brand Value and Profit

Research shows companies that have adopted best practices for employing and supporting people with disabilities achieved 28 percent higher revenue and 30 percent higher profit margins over a four-year period. Furthermore, businesses that improved their inclusion of disabled people over time had four times better shareholder returns, compared to their peers.

When making ESG investment decisions, investors must prioritize disability inclusion. To maximize long-term value, investors and shareholders need to have access to disability statistics. By requiring companies to disclose disability information, the information would be more readily available to them. As a result, the data would also help a company foster its brand, recruit talent, and improve its DEI initiatives.


Avoid Costly Litigation and Public Relations Issues

Every year, thousands of lawsuits are filed for violations of Section 508, the WCAG, and the Americans with Disabilities Act – Section 508. For instance, Pokémon Go developer Niantic Inc. was sued by a plaintiff from New Jersey for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a similar case last year, L’Oréal was sued for the inaccessibility of its website to visually impaired people. To create a more inclusive society, all digital content should be accessible, regardless of whether compliance is legally required.

The Apex team of experts specializes in creating accessible digital content, and we provide PDF remediation and Accessible EPUB to achieve Section 508 (ADA) compliance and WCAG 2.0 standards.

Click here to know more.