In another sign that the city is putting social responsibility at the centre of its future, Aviva Investors has just announced that it will try to have directors of firms who fail to make environmental pledges kicked out. It also wants directors pay to be linked with sustainability goals. Read more on the BBC website.
The city has been talking about “ESG” for a while now, but what does this really mean. There are currently no guidelines as to what levels of ESG (environmental, social, governance) targets a firm should implement so increasingly, business is turning to other ways to demonstrate they are meeting not just the requirements of investors, but requirements of staff and potential employees, not to mention customers.
There is currently one accreditation scheme in the UK for social responsibility, CSRA. The accreditation scheme is now a global mark giving businesses the validation they need. In addition, CSRA is also aligned with the principals of ESG as well as the UN sustainable development goals and has achieved this by developing the “four Pillars of Environment, Workplace, Community and Philanthropy, supporting directors as well as their teams can continually improve on their social responsibility journeys.
What is most encouraging is the fact that it is the major investors driving this initiative. With their weight driving the actions of directors, we can start to hope that within a short period of time there will be a massive step change to the way businesses are run, now and in the future.
It is important to remember that sustainability, ESG, SDG, which ever definition you want to use, is not just about the environment, but is also about the workplace and the community. To create a genuinely sustainable business you must look after everyone both internally and externally.
For more information on how to develop your CSR strategy contact Owen