ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is very much in the news, and only recently has this become a go-to measure with businesses realizing its importance.
However, my suggestion for businesses is not only to focus and be overwhelmed on its implementation from a compliance perspective but leverage its compliance requirement as an opportunity to strengthen the overall company fundamentals.
They must go the extra mile to use this as a business sustainability tool, with an eye on improving governance and processes along with shoring up efficiencies for a financial uptake.
They need to look at the significant financial windfalls from its implementation, which can result in a great bonus for business prospects. In reality, only few look at the underlying opportunities that an ESG Framework implementation can bring along. If not all, many can lift their bottom lines with certain aspects of ESG, provided it is holistically implemented.
Especially for medium to large companies, both in terms of cost savings, effective compliances, strengthening of process leading to efficiencies and new profit avenues.
An ESG framework directly impacts the overall company ecosystem where social responsibility and cultural change put the onus on people to respect governance across all aspects of responsible spending behaviour, respect for rules and laws and above all, heightened social and environmental awareness.
Coming to financial windfalls, firstly, ESG compliance results in reduced costs from utilities to general spending, where behavioural elements kick in to bring responsible spending in areas such as energy consumption, waste management, and resource usage.
For example, implementing energy-efficient systems can reduce energy consumption and costs, while sustainable packaging practices can help reduce wastage. Today, waste management serves multifaceted recycling services to augment revenues.
Additionally, ESG compliance can also help companies attract socially aware investors and customers who are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchases. This can lead to increased revenue and higher valuations.
Furthermore, ESG compliance shall help improve regulatory compliance and reduce fines and legal disputes. Companies through this compliance, shall also ring-fence their legal and reputational risks, including costs in complying with environmental and social regulations.
In summary, ESG compliance offers significant financial and reputational benefits for medium-sized companies. By adopting sustainable practices, companies can reduce costs, attract conscious customers and investors, and avoid non-compliance expenses and risks.