How to Initiate ESG and Strengthen Corporate Sustainability Efforts

In the modern corporate world, executives hold a special responsibility to incorporate environmental and social considerations into their businesses. With the ability to focus on strategic growth while driving innovation, they can lead by pioneering sustainability initiatives within their company or organisation. The corporate sustainability efforts in an organisation can be improved through the following ways.

Integrating ESG Into Business Operations

The need for sustainable decision-making is becoming more and more apparent given the urgency of climate change. Hence, businesses incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) into their practices are quickly becoming the new normal in business. ESG is about balancing profit with purpose and making sure that businesses are operating responsibly and sustainably. 

Implementing ESG strategies can help businesses to reduce their environmental footprint, build strong relationships with employees and other stakeholders, and improve their overall reputation. To incorporate ESG into sustainable decision making, the following needs to be considered;

1. Environmental

This may include innovating ways to lighten the impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint, preventing pollution in their operations and developing a circular economy within the organisation.

2. Social

Social considerations include human rights, equal opportunities, inclusiveness and investment in human capital and communities.

3. Governance

ESG governance in organisations consists of management structure, employee relations and executive remuneration.

To be successful in implementing ESG practices into the organisation, organisations need to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their policies and practices.

Create An Effective Strategy For Sustainability

According to an IBM study,  71% of employees and employment seekers find environmentally sustainable companies to be more attractive employers, surpassing compensation as the number one factor for job candidates. This shift in priority further proves the importance of sustainability in a business. For businesses that are keen to promote sustainability through their practices, it is essential for them to create an effective sustainability strategy before doing so.

Sustainability in business involves creating products, services, and processes that minimise the negative environmental impacts and maximise the positive social and economic benefits of your company. Not limited to the environment, it is also about people and profits, generating long-term value for shareholders while also benefiting employees, customers and communities.

To develop a sustainable strategy, businesses must identify where they fit into the sustainable development equation. There are four key ways that businesses can contribute to sustainable development: through their operations, their supply chains, and their products and services. 

1. Sustainable operations

Sustainable operations refer to the way a business goes about its day-to-day activities. This includes things like energy use and waste reduction. A sustainable operation is one that minimises its environmental impact while also maximising its social and economic benefits. 

2. Sustainable supply chains

Sustainable supply chains refer to the way a business sources the materials and services it needs to run its operations. This includes things like using recycled materials such as Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas’ Ecologico Recycled Copy Paper, working with certified green suppliers, and reducing emissions throughout the supply chain. 

3. Sustainable products

Sustainable products and services refer to the way a business designs, produces, and delivers its products and services. This includes things like using renewable materials, investing in green technologies, and providing fair trade options. 

4. Setting targets

The fourth step in developing a sustainable strategy is setting targets. Once you have identified where your business fits into the sustainable development equation, you need to set some specific goals or targets that you want to achieve. These targets should be aligned with your company’s core values and should be realistic, given your current resources and capacities. 

Some examples of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that businesses might set include: 

  • Reducing energy consumption by x% by 2025 
  • Reducing waste sent to landfills by x% by 2025 
  • Increasing the use of recycled materials in products by x% by 2025 

Sustainability Is The Way Forward

While integrating ESG into a business’ operations and creating an effective strategy for sustainability may seem like a daunting leap, it is important work that can benefit both the environment and the company. By taking these initial steps, businesses lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future. There are many benefits to incorporating ESG into business practices, and the sooner it is implemented, the better the chances are at saving the environment.