ESG has emerged as one of the most critical areas for effectively running an organization and attracting investment across the globe.
What is ESG?
Short for Environmental, Social, and Governance, ESG criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that investors use to screen potential investments through a socially conscious lens.
And, here’s what it’s not.
According to McKinsey, “The magnitude of investment flow suggests that ESG is much more than a fad or a feel-good exercise.”
EHS professionals are in a unique position to take the lead on ESG initiatives. As a concept with some demonstrated staying power, let’s make sure you understand the topic and how it impacts your world.
Starting off, let’s dive into the three areas ESG covers:
Reporting on ESG performance is voluntary, but by providing this transparency companies help identify both growth opportunities and risks. Investment dollars are flowing toward companies that demonstrate they’re prioritizing ESG issues, as historical data shows that this focus delivers financial returns.
Why Does ESG Matter to Your Company?
Developing and reporting on ESG is a demonstration of strong corporate leadership and governance. This tends to have positive impacts on a company’s brand, legal liability, and financial position.
And a focus on ESG can have exponential impacts across your organization. ESG initiatives help companies identify areas for improvement, increase efficiency across the organization, and develop defensible audit trails.
Key Benefits of ESG Initiatives
Streamlined Regulatory Compliance
Companies with established ESG targets signal to regulators that they’re putting good faith toward following regulatory guidelines. And with this good faith potentially comes a lowered level of regulatory scrutiny and more leniency on the off chance regulators find areas that are out of compliance.
You’ve heard the adage, “What gets measured gets improved.” ESG strategies tend to find the inefficiencies hiding across an organization. And this improved transparency can impact operating expenses across many parts of the company.
Given these first two benefits, streamlined compliance, and improved efficiency, it makes sense that ESG initiatives would also impact your bottom line. The data supports this premise as well. An analysis of over 2,000 studies by McKinsey found that ESG propositions had a positive impact on equity returns 63% of the time.
Improved Employee Engagement
There’s plenty of data to support this benefit as well. Marsh & McLennan found that organizations with the highest employee satisfaction had ESG scores 14% higher than the global average. McKinsey also states that ” A strong ESG proposition can help companies attract and retain quality employees, enhance employee motivation by instilling a sense of purpose, and increase productivity overall.”
Reputation is everything – particularly when it comes to customer loyalty. Customers want to be reassured that they’re supporting companies with a commitment to both their people and the environment. One study found that 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.
How Can Safety Leaders Take The Lead on ESG Initiatives?
EHS professionals are in a unique position to take the lead on ESG initiatives. You’re already managing several programs that fall under the ESG umbrella. You have a great deal of data at your fingertips, and understand the value engaged employees people bring to the programs under your purview. In short, you’re in a perfect position to drive performance improvements across the organization and help maintain a competitive edge.
Given that you’re a key player in any ESG initiative, how do you get one off the ground?
5 Steps to Developing Your ESG Strategy
How KPA Helps Support Your ESG Goals
KPA’s here to help by providing consulting, software, and training to align with your ESG mission.
KPA provides consulting and training to help ensure you’re minimizing your impact on your local environment. This can span ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, to helping develop strategies and best practices for reducing your environmental waste streams.
KPA’s 35 years of health and safety experience are here to help you develop an initiative that shows you put people first. Rely on safety program data, comprehensive training library, and usage metrics to demonstrate your organization values people both inside and outside the company.
Lean on KPA’s comprehensive policy and training libraries along with in-depth reporting to demonstrate your organization follows good governance practices. This is governance that spans ethical sales practices, adherence to a comprehensive code of conduct, and audit trails that demonstrate your commitment to good governance.
KPA’s technology and expertise can help you make successful strides toward fulfilling your ESG mission.