Taking the First Steps on ESG at Diligent and Within Your Own Organization

Brian Stafford

As the CEO of a multinational organization, I’ve become increasingly conscious of our impact. I’m not just talking about the climate crisis. Nor am I limiting myself to our core commitment at Diligent of empowering our clients with the best possible Governance, Risk, Compliance, Audit and ESG solutions to drive positive impact.

I think back to Blackrock CEO Larry Fink in this year’s ‘Larry Letter where he asked the question “will you lead, or will you be lead” as we transition into a decarbonized future. It’s essential for all organizations to address ESG. Net zero isn’t some far off concept; it is something companies of all sizes need to start working toward – today.

I recognize the need to look in the mirror and hold ourselves at Diligent accountable for our impact on the world around us. I’m thinking of the million-plus users we serve across 130 countries; the communities and societies we live, work, and do business in; and our global workforce.

Our ESG journey – from commitment to learning and assessment to action – is, by its very nature, iterative. But because accountability requires transparency, I’d like to invite you to learn alongside me and our team as it unfolds so we can all learn together – from what we get right and what we don’t.

In 2020, we made a commitment to be Net Zero by 2040. Last year, we conducted an organizational assessment to determine our ESG maturity looking at our current position as well those of our peers and competitors. This year we are putting necessary plans in place to transform an employee-led task force into a robust ESG strategy and reporting structure, beginning with hiring a dedicated team member (reporting in to me) to oversee our ESG programming, processes and goals. As a big believer in ambitious performance targets, I’m determined to achieve Net Zero before 2040. With the right leadership in place and commitment from the business, we are striving to be Net Zero by 2030.

To help guide this work, I am delighted to introduce Faiza Asifuddin as our Director of ESG and Sustainability. Faiza has been tasked with laying the groundwork for our ESG program and executing the steps to make it a reality. She is joined by other ESG specialists at the Diligent Institute and Diligent ESG, a leading carbon accounting and ESG reporting solution we recently acquired. I’m proud to say that we’ve built a team more than capable of ensuring we achieve our goals.

Over the coming months, as we continue along our ESG journey at Diligent, we’ll be recording our progress and lessons learned as we implement policies and develop goals in a series of blogs as well as publishing a full end-of-year report. I’ll also be posting a new piece shortly that shares some advice on how to assess, analyze and build out your ESG framework.

I’m looking forward to having you onboard with us. And, if you haven’t, I hope you’ll feel inspired to start to make progress within your own organization.

Are You Prepared for Mandatory Climate Disclosures?
Organizations across the globe are getting ready for climate-disclosure mandates. Find out what you can expect in the months ahead.
Background image
Related Insights
Brian Stafford

Brian Stafford is Chief Executive Officer of Diligent Corporation. Mr. Stafford assumed the role of CEO in March 2015 and is responsible for all day-to-day operations, with a focus on accelerating global growth and incorporating scale into the business in order to seamlessly manage the growth.

Mr. Stafford previously served as a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he founded and led their Growth Stage Tech Practice. While there, he concentrated on helping Growth Stage Technology companies scale faster and did extensive work with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, focusing on growth strategy, sales operations and strategy, pricing, international growth strategy and team building. Prior to his tenure at McKinsey, Mr. Stafford was the Founder, President and CEO of CarOrder, a division of Trilogy Software based in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Stafford holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Manhattan.