What is ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)?
ESG means “environmental, social and governance,” and represents a more stakeholder-centric approach to doing business. ESG is set on the principle that the environment is only one factor in determining an organization's commitment to sustainability. As ESG increasingly becomes top of mind for directors, it’s essential to consider the global nuances that drive focus region by region. Companies that adhere to environmental, social and governance standards agree to conduct themselves ethically in those three areas, and can draw on a range of strategies, tactics and ESG solutions.
But with such a wide range of possible approaches and solutions, and a panoply of issues that fall under the ESG umbrella, where should organizations focus? How should they make a start?
To understand the meaning of ESG, a good first step is to identify the issues fit into the categories of environmental, social and governance. Those can include:
Preservation of our natural world
- Climate change
- Carbon emission reduction
- Water pollution and water scarcity
- Air pollution
- Greenhouse gas emissions
Consideration of humans and our interdependencies
- Customer success
- Data hygiene and security
- Gender and diversity inclusion
- Community relations
- Mental health
Logistics and defined process for running a business or organization
- Board of directors and its makeup
- Executive compensation guidelines
- Political contributions and lobbying
- Venture partner compensation
- Hiring and onboarding best practices