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Conference

PSMG ESG Summit 2022

 
 

The Environmental, Social and Governance Movement

An Opportunity AND an obligation

What does it mean for professional services providers?

And what does it mean for Marketing and Business Development Professionals?

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues should be top concerns of all corporate management and boards.

There was a time when a public stance on ESG issues was a public relations tactic. However, in today's rapidly changing business climate, attention to ESG issues is becoming critical to long-term competitive success.

In this new environment all company performance is being assessed through an ESG lens and professional services firms are not immune to this.

Evidence shows that properly integrated ESG policies widen a firm’s competitive reach compared to other industry players. Those who take steps to improve labour conditions, enhance the diversity of their teams, invest in their communities, and adopt sustainable environmental practices and policies will strengthen their brand and their client offering.

Organisations that recognize the importance of adapting to changing socio-economic and environmental conditions are better able to identify strategic opportunities and meet competitive challenges.

We must, therefore, reconnect company success with societal progress. Shared value is not social responsibility or even sustainability. It is a new way to achieve economic success. It is not on the outer edge of what we do but rather at the centre.

Those who are truly committed to executing ESG policies, practices and programmes ensure ESG is a senior management priority of the CEO and general counsel, and increasingly tie compensation to ESG metrics.

They voluntarily report ESG goals, and progress towards meeting them, to all stakeholders via the annual CEO letter, annual reports, internal corporate communications, and/or annual sustainability reports.

Increasingly they are demanding their suppliers and vendors – including their professional advisors, act in the same way.

“Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it… because it is good for our business”

Niall Fitzgerald, former CEO, Unilever