Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has become a major focus for organizations who are under growing pressure to demonstrate they are doing the right thing and executing their commitments to sustainable business. Organizations are now expected to demonstrate how their business is being conducted in an ethical manner, what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint and to mitigate ethical risks in their value chain, and how they are fostering a purpose-led culture built on trust and integrity.
Faced with these challenging expectations and increasingly stringent legal reporting requirements, business leaders need to start preparing to integrate ESG into their corporate strategy and develop tools to monitor and measure their ESG performance.
Navigating ESG regulatory and legal developments is a significant undertaking. However, organizations are mistaken if they think that this is merely a compliance issue. ESG is a transformative opportunity for an organization to grow, gain competitive advantage and create value through long-term decision-making and strategic vision. Integrating ESG into the DNA of a business will help organizations reduce their legal and reputational risk, carve out new markets, win customer loyalty and attract top talent.
The far-reaching and multi-disciplinary impact of ESG factors that impact a corporates business strategy calls for significant changes to the way businesses are being led and how they operate. If change is to be embedded, measured and sustained it requires a shift in culture and re-design of traditional organizational processes and procedures. Balancing financial and non-financial growth targets is not easy. To drive a sustainable and prosperous future that services the three components of the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit) equally, companies may well have to reset and reconsider what their purpose is and the impact they have across a wider ecosystem.
This report was co-authored by Dechert and StoneTurn. We are grateful to Dechert, including Matthew Banham, Andrew S Boutros, Sean Geraghty and David N Kelley, and Anthony O’Reilly of O’Reilly Advisors LLC for their invaluable contributions to this report.
To discuss any of the issues raised in this white paper, please reach out to Tracey Groves.