Corporate managers & executives: is your board “sustainability/ESG fluent”? And if not – why not?
Attorney Silda Wall Spitzer and John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council, writing in Harvard Business Review explain that while “some” board members have become increasingly “sustainability/ESG fluent” many companies [still] don’t expect their directors to understand sustainability or ESG and don’t provide board room education on the subject matter.
There is encouraging news for sustainability professionals coming from the world of stock exchanges this month. The NASDAQ Exchange just published its guide for listed companies – as well for privately-owned firms as perhaps future IPOs for NASDAQ listing – for companies’ public ESG reporting. This is the “ESG Reporting Guide – A Voluntary Support Program for Companies”.
Engaging a workforce spread across 33 international offices in a giving campaign is no small task. Data company Splunk started with a small incentive for employees to give to their favorite causes. A whopping 61% of their people participated, but something else remarkable happened. Find out how Splunk’s modest budget had a major impact.
For the eighth year, the G&A Institute research team has examined the ESG, Sustainability, Responsibility & Citizenship disclosure and reporting practices of the S&P 500® Index companies and determined for year 2018 that 86 percent of the almost 500 public companies were publishing reports in various formats for public viewing.
Did you know that turnover is reduced by 57% for employees actively engaged in company giving and volunteering efforts? Benevity has made engaging your people easier with The Big Book of Goodness! Check it out for 25+ creative ideas to amplify your people’s efforts (and boost engagement!) all year long.
These days the comparisons of companies in sectors and industries and among investment peers (those companies chasing similar sources of capital) are continuing to gain momentum. There are numerous third party players busily analyzing, measuring and charting company ESG performance and producing scores, rankings, ratings and various kinds of comparisons (company-to-company, company to industry etc) for their investor-clients (asset owners and managers).
We should not have been surprised: in 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that among his first steps when in the Oval Office would be the tearing up of his predecessor’s commitment to join the family of nations in addressing climate change challenges. In 2015 in Paris, with almost 200 nations in agreement, the United States of America with President Barack Obama presiding signed on to the “Paris Agreement” (or Accord) for nations and private, public and social sector organization to work to prevent further damage to the planet.
This week we celebrated Earth Day. That first (1970) observance became a catalyst for action – soon after the first of a series of environmental-focused Federal legislation began to change dirty air to cleaner and then clean, and more laws to address a very unhealthy state of affairs in the U.S.A. (The Environmental Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, etc.). But…the challenges for society have not gone away. The list of “hot ESG issues” grows by the week.
“Movements” – what comes to mind when we describe the characteristics of this term are 20th Century examples. The late-20th Century “environmental movement” was a segue from the older 19th and early 20th Century “conservation movement” that was jump started by President Theodore Roosevelt (#26), who in his 8 years in the Oval Office preserved some 100,000 acres of American land every work day (this before the creation of the National Parks System a decade later).
The FTI Consulting business advisory firm surveyed a set of 130 global institutional investors to gauge the depth and breadth of U.S. assets invested using ESG principles. This group of investors, contacted from May through July 2018, responded that their Assets Under Management totaling US$8.4 trillion was believed to have benefitted by the contribution of extra [corporate] value to a company with a high ESG rating.