ESG (Environmental Social Governance) has become a mainstream term in 2021.
ESG refers to a company’s commitment to do more than make a profit, such as actively strive to contribute positively to the environment or social causes and to conduct themselves responsibly.
ESG will most likely replace CSR as the corporate vehicle for positive contribution.
This is good news for both people and planet, because while CSR was often a disconnected department with limited resources, ESG is a fully integrated strategic objective that’s closely connected to the mission of the company.
As such, it gains power as it’s integrated into daily operations and everyday decisions, which is where a company’s impact is practically determined. This is the very core of what we believe here at Views For Change.
While this may seem like a hostile takeover of CSR departments, this is actually good news for CSR professionals, who may experience a switch in title and job specs, but will get much closer to the strategic objectives of the company.
Consumers Are Demanding Action
In 2019 we reached the tipping point for responsible consumer demand. We know that 92% consumers want to buy a product that supports a cause and 55% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services that contribute to positive change. These values were also reflected in actual spending with $128.5 billion spent on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in 2019.
This trend will continue to grow as it is driven by younger generations, such as Gen Z as 94% now think companies should address pressing social and environmental issues.
UN Sustainable Development Goals Are A Useful Tool
ESG can feel broad and daunting. The abstract nature of ESG means that some companies choose to connect their ESG efforts to the UN’s 17 development goals, as these are specific and concrete. Many companies select a couple of development goals and make concrete ESG policies in these areas.
We recommend approaching ESG from a pragmatic standpoint. Just like how we suggest approaching choosing a charity.
Identifying your ESG focus isn’t a separate exercise, it should be integrated into your strategy alongside the core drive for profit. This is the ‘purpose’ part in profit-with-purpose.
As with any strategic decision, for this to be effective, the ESG focus must be tangible and achievable.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no company will become a fully responsible business overnight. What is important is to start, and to be committed and transparent about it.
Get Started With ESG
The first steps for you and your organisation are to identify one or more focus areas, and then clarify how you can improve in those areas.
Charitable giving is a crucial part of supporting other organisations already making waves in your focus areas.
If you’re looking to operationalise charitable giving within your chosen focus areas, Views For Change provides an opportunity to:
- Showcase your impact at the first interaction with your audience
- Build giving into your business in a commercially viable manner
- Effortlessly operationalise ESG (and CSR!)