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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new poll and analysis finds "surprising evidence" of bipartisan support for corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts, including climate initiatives.

Why it matters: Penn State business professor Tessa Recendes and the public affairs firm ROKK Solutions find "public opinion on ESG is not nearly as polarized as popular narratives suggest."

  • One key finding: stronger support among voters under 45. This "indicates companies should capitalize on generational trends in the workforce and financial markets as these constituents gain influence."

Catch up fast: ESG describes initiatives in areas like emissions and water management; diversity and inclusion; shareholder rights, and more.

What they found: Some top-line findings from the poll of 1,240 registered voters include...

  • 76% feel companies should be held accountable for making a positive impact where they operate. 79% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans put climate in their top five ESG issues most important to them, and environmental matters overall are a priority.
  • Democrats are more likely than Republicans to buy things from companies that speak out on topics they agree with. That's also one of several places where age matters, with 36% of Republicans over 45 more likely, rising to 51% under 45.

What's next: It offers recommendations on crafting and communicating ESG policies, such as tailoring social media efforts but also using other channels, noting, for instance, that local TV remains the most popular information source for voters over 45.

The intrigue: The findings are relevant to policymakers, the report finds.

  • "Our research absolutely begs the question: are policymakers underestimating support for tackling climate change, and tackling these pervasive social and governance issues," ROKK Solutions managing director Lindsay Singleton tells Axios.

Go deeper

New grassroots GOP shuns corporate America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After Jan. 6, 2021, corporate PACs began cutting off Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden's victory — but it doesn't appear to have done much to alter the lawmakers' behavior.

The big picture: For all the attention on boardrooms and congressional offices, the GOP's drift away from corporate America over the past year is largely a grassroots phenomenon — driven less by executives or members of Congress than the people to whom both camps must answer.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.