The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the importance of incorporating thoughtful ESG strategies into long-term business planning. Companies that have invested in employee health and wellness, resilient supply chains, and cyber-secure technology for remote work have been better positioned to thrive during the pandemic crisis.
The business case for ESG
Most ESG strategies begin as a risk-management tool or in response to investor demands. But companies that fully commit to a long-term ESG program can grow revenue, reduce costs, minimize regulatory and legal intervention, and optimize investment and capital expenditures.
ESG also helps to drive employee engagement and retention. Many employees expect their companies to embrace ESG principles in return for their loyalty and commitment to a company based on its reputation for social awareness, ethics, and shared values. For a company to maximize the benefits of incorporating ESG issues, it is important that ESG issues and programs are incorporated into, and aligned with, the overall company strategy and operations.
Overcoming integration hurdles
Establishing an ESG strategy doesn’t typically happen overnight. It’s a journey. The good news is many companies have already begun the journey, informally, by monitoring and measuring their “E” issues as part of air, water, or waste regulatory compliance programs or by tracking “S” or “G” issues internally. Therefore, a good starting point is identifying existing activities contributing to a formal ESG strategy.
Let’s get started
If you need a partner to help you start or advance your ESG journey, Barr is ready to listen and provide strategic advice and technical support. We can help you identify your destination and your progress and develop a plan to make sure you are going in the right direction. Typically, this starts with a review of your existing ESG policies, programs, processes, and reporting. We can provide training at all levels of your organization, as well as technical support in establishing ESG program priorities and approaches to achieve them. Your unique opportunities and challenges will define the type of support you will need, and Barr will be ready to develop customized solutions.