Environmental consultant Alex Ferguson outlines the first steps companies can take to implement an effective Environmental, Social and Governance policy.
In an excellent opening article in the last edition, the team at Concept spoke about Business Evolution. At Delta-Simons we work with businesses of all scales to support their 'ESG' efforts. ESG is Environment, Social and Governance and is the phrase that captures what that evolution means. It is becoming common language for investors and for clients. Under the title of ESG we measure, learn, adapt and improve the way we do business.
Whether it is watching the news of droughts, floods and wildfires, listening to David Attenborough or reading the IPCC report on climate change, it is clear to us all that change is needed. Increasingly, governments and possibly more significant for businesses, major corporations, financiers and investors are making a range of social and environmental commitments. We will all have to adapt our businesses to deal with the requirements of ESG reporting and there is a lot we can do now.
Having an ESG Policy, reporting on ESG at Board level and taking positive action puts us in a strong position to win work, secure favourable finance and to attract and retain the best talent.
Often, the toughest thing to decide is what to do first when there is so much information and so many drivers. The following are some suggestions as to how to take some positive steps:
1. Ask your people what matters to them.
This can be a formal materiality review, or just part of your usual team discussions. Tailoring your ESG activities to what really matters to your people is the best way to ensure success. You can align your priorities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.