People, Planet, Purpose: Highlights from Diligent’s Own Journey of ESG Reporting

Kaelyn Barron

As stakeholders at all levels demand greater environmental accountability, it's never been more important for corporations to remain transparent on their activities, risks and strategies related to the environment.

There are several reasons behind this trend. First of all, ESG reporting is increasingly moving from “nice to have” to mandatory, with new requirements like the EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed climate disclosure rule. And regulators aren’t the only ones demanding more transparency.

Investors increasingly want to understand the climate risks of the companies whose stock they own or might buy,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Labels like 'green' or 'sustainable' say a lot to investors. Which data and criteria are asset managers using to ensure they're meeting investors' targets?”

Diligent’s Own ESG Journey

Diligent has been immersed in these issues for years: writing about them, convening communities and events, and developing technology solutions to make the job of ESG oversight and reporting easier and more effective.

We’re also a multinational company with environmental, social and governance obligations of our own. That's why we've begun taking the first steps on our ESG journey by outlining our commitments and reporting on our progress.

“I recognize the need to look in the mirror and hold ourselves at Diligent accountable for our impact on the world around us,” wrote Diligent CEO Brian Stafford in a recent post on Diligent's ESG strategy.

This year, Diligent is releasing its first Social Impact and Sustainability report, charting progress and areas with potential for growth under the pillars of People, Planet and Purpose. Highlights from the report follow.

People: Building Communities and Using Data to Increase Diversity

Many groups, such as women and people of color, have historically had limited access to roles on boards and in the technology industry. In 2022, Diligent launched a variety of initiatives to change this situation for the better.

For boards, we launched the Director Network, which helps fill open board and top executive roles with qualified candidates across the spectrum of race, ethnicity, nationality, LGBTQ+ status, gender, age and expertise.

For entry-level jobs in tech sales and customer success, we launched Diligent Academy, a free training program to upskill and recruit underrepresented job seekers.

Within Diligent’s own operations, we implemented a structured process to address unconscious bias throughout the hiring process. This includes robust reporting features based on U.S. Equal Employee Opportunity Commission data, prompts that encourage unbiased job descriptions, and hiring decisions and tools designed to reduce bias in interviews.

Planet: Tracking Our Impact, Targeting Our Actions

Using our own ESG solutions, Diligent compared Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from 2022 against data points from 2021. We identified the top contributors to our overall emissions: business travel and electricity use in our offices.

These findings have informed a roadmap for the year ahead: a new GHG emissions-guided travel policy, guidelines and practices for our employees to encourage sustainability habits, a sustainability audit of our suppliers and a pilot waste management program for our New York office.

In the long-term, we will continue to analyze trends in our carbon footprint, develop company-wide sustainability policies and practices, and pursue credible carbon reduction programs to accelerate our goal of Net Zero by 2030.

Purpose: Strengthening Governance, Transparency and Accountability

Finally, our purpose is intrinsically linked to why we’re in business: to champion modern governance and help our clients make an impact. One way Diligent brings this purpose to life is through research and education; another is by emphasizing transparency and accountability. Our 2022 ESG report demonstrates our efforts in all of these areas.

In 2022, we launched two new certificate programs: Climate Leadership Certification, which helps participants understand and make informed decisions about the climate landscape; and the ESG Leadership Certificate, which covers sustainability, stakeholder engagement, responsible investment and more.

We also published a number of ESG-related reports in 2022 through the Diligent Institute. These include an inaugural study on Board Diversity Gaps worldwide and Sustainability in the Spotlight, which details how boards are preparing and structuring oversight for ESG issues.

Technology: The Common Thread

Technology has helped us implement all of these initiatives and more. Furthermore, with our 2022 ESG report, technology has helped us share our progress and the work that remains.

“How, why, what and where we communicate is something we take very seriously,” we wrote in our Social Impact and Sustainability report. “Reliable and regular communication to our leadership, employees, clients and peers ensures that we at Diligent always have a sense of duty beyond day-to-day business.”

Strengthen Your Own Organization’s ESG Reporting

Diligent’s ESG solution makes it easier to harness data so your organization can meet emerging frameworks and stakeholder demands in 2023 and beyond. Learn more by requesting a demo today.

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Kaelyn Barron
Kaelyn Barron, Senior Specialist at Diligent, has expertise in ESG, environmental law and the intersection of governance with these issues. Her background in international relations allows her to provide unique insights into emerging ESG frameworks and regulations that impact multiple regions.