The real challenge of ESG

ESG, (Environment, Social, Governance) it seems that every conference, every meeting, every media article is talking about ESG and what businesses have to do to meet expectations. The real challenge, as this Reuters article spells out, is a complete lack of consistency of approach. Many industry bodies are trying to work out what their sector should be doing and different countries are also having the same debates. 

What is of more concern though, is the fact that many companies are still either ignoring the fact that ESG is now a part of our lives, or, and some might say worse, they are not looking at their ESG strategies effectively and are putting sub-standard programmes in place, just so they can say they have done it. In environmental terms this is “Greenwashing”, but ESG is so much more.

Of absolute importance to any organisation, is the negative impact this is going to have on their sales and profit in the medium and long term. As a nation, we have long been short termists, focusing on what dividend we will earn next year, what we can buy now, this, it could be said, is why we are in the current mess.

We now have to look at what we need to implement to achieve long term success, long term stability and long term sustainability.

I was listening to a global operations director speak on Friday and he said the two main topics at a recent conference had been ESG and sustainable supply chain. To quote his words, let’s park ESG and focus on supply chain. My jaw hit the floor, did he not realise that a strong ESG will help ensure sustainable supply as well as sustainable sales? This single statement to me, illustrates what is wrong in business, a lack of understanding of ESG, what it means and the impact it has now and in the long term, on your business.

Don’t let your business fall into that trap, put ESG at the heart of your business now and not just to tick a box.  Do it effectively and commit the resource to implementing it and you will realise that it is not a cost to the business, but an investment that will deliver significant ROI.

Contact me to find out how to ensure your business does not get left behind.