All businesses should seek ways to become more responsible for protecting the environment and fostering sustainable processes. A company that cares for the environment safeguards the well-being of its employees, promotes transparency in operations, and ensures communal harmony. Only 27% of Indian businesses feel confident about their ESG preparedness and the consumer industry is the least ready when it comes to meeting their ESG goals.
Organizations need to account for changes in global regulations, gender diversity, climate change, and sustainable finance when working towards meeting their ESG goals. A robust ESG culture can translate into increased productivity, better quality of investments, asset optimization, and driving value into enterprise operations.
Businesses today are expected to take up more responsibility than they’re used to as people become aware of the alarming need to conserve the environment as well as ensure businesses operate for the well–being of society and not otherwise. Below are some actionable tips and strategies for ESG development and implementation.
Do a Materiality Assessment Test
A materiality assessment test will help identify which ESG issues are critical and the most important to an organization. It summarizes the organization’s ESG goals and presents them to stakeholders to ensure that topics are relevant to the business and that no priorities are overlooked. The first step is collecting as much data as possible from the supply chain and operations. The information gathered can be analyzed to identify relevant issues and prioritize the most pressing ones.
Appoint a Dedicated Sustainability Leader
A dedicated sustainability leader can be a role model for enterprise team members and drive the enterprise agenda. Good ESG leadership ensures the well-being of employees within organizations and implements practices that mutually benefit them, thus improving their productivity and performance. Hiring the right sustainability leader is just the first step but it will give organizations more visibility and greater insight into managing shared ESG resources. A sustainability leader is equipped with the skills needed to track ESG metrics, drive smart adoption, collaborate with leaders from other departments, and centralize ESG data to make better business decisions.
Focus on Data Governance
Data governance forms the backbone of ESG reporting and will inform organizations on how to pursue goals and track them. Ensuring high-quality data and establishing a single source of truth is critical to the success of any business endeavor. Investors pay more attention to factors outside the company that impact its operations which directly influence environmental, sustainability, and governance initiatives, thus determining further investments. Once a good governance process is in place, ESG programs are more likely to gain momentum. A clear ESG governance framework encourages employees to give their input, making them feel responsible and valued throughout the process. It drives accountability, and commitment, and helps organizations to get closer to achieving their desired ESG milestones by working as a team.
The suggestions above can give organizations a good headstart on ESG initiatives and ensure they stay on the right track. It is critical to identify ESG goals, invest in them, and proactively work toward them. ESG growth for businesses drives value and secures the future. Sustainability practices ensure business continuity as well and make it much easier to achieve full compliance.