ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, and refers to a set of factors that are used by investors, stakeholders, and companies to evaluate the sustainability and ethical impact of a business.
Environmental factors include a company's impact on the environment, such as its carbon emissions, use of natural resources, and waste management practices.
Social factors refer to the company's impact on society, including its treatment of employees, community relations, customer privacy and data security.
Governance factors relate to the company's internal management and control systems, such as board composition, executive compensation, and transparency and accountability.
A recent survey identified that employees are willing to quit their jobs if their company doesn't align with their personal values, especially around issues like the environment and equality. Generation Z and millennials are particularly keen on what has been labeled "conscious quitting", with over half willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values.
In the US and UK, almost two thirds of employees say efforts by business to tackle environmental and societal challenges do not go far enough. Many believe that senior leaders don’t care. Nearly half of employees say they would consider resigning if the company’s values don’t align with their own, even in these tough economic times.
ESG is important for many reasons.
Investors and stakeholders are looking beyond the usual financial metrics to evaluate a company's long-term sustainability and ethical impact. By considering ESG factors, they can better understand the risks and opportunities associated with a business and make more informed investment decisions.
It can help identify areas where companies can improve their sustainability and ethical practices, and thereby enhance their long-term value and reputation. By adopting strong ESG practices, companies can also attract and retain employees, customers, and investors who share their values.
It encourages companies to take responsibility for their impact on the environment and society, and to work towards more sustainable and fair outcomes.
Communicate your ESG ambitions using your intranet.
In the same survey two out of three employees want their companies to communicate actions on big environmental and societal issues (67% UK, 66% US). Around two-thirds say their company has communicated with them about employee wellbeing (60% UK, 66% US), but this number drops dramatically when it comes to the environment (35% UK, 34% US), economic inequality (29% UK, 28% US) and social inequality (36% UK, 41% US).
To keep your employees informed and on the same page, you need to communicate what you are doing to improve your ESG ambitions. Your intranet is a fitting place to do this.
An intranet can provide a platform for companies to communicate their environmental policies and practices, track their carbon footprint, and monitor their progress towards meeting sustainability goals. An intranet can avoid greenwashing by providing transparent and credible information about the company's sustainability practices and initiatives, by:
Providing specific and verifiable information: Rather than using vague language, provide detailed information on the environmental impact of the company's products, services, and operations.
Being transparent about the challenges and limitations faced in achieving sustainability goals. This can help to build trust with employees and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.
Displaying any third-party certifications or awards the company has received for its sustainability practices. This can help to validate claims and demonstrate that the company is being held to a standard by an independent organization.
Companies can use intranets to communicate their social responsibility policies, such as diversity and inclusion initiatives, work practices, and human rights standards. By providing a platform for employee engagement and collaboration, intranets can help foster a culture of social responsibility within an organization.
Intranets can provide a centralized platform for managing corporate governance, including risk management, compliance, and stakeholder engagement. This can include tracking regulatory compliance, managing internal audits, and monitoring the effectiveness of corporate governance policies and practices.
Below are examples of how a GreenOrbit Intranet provides the tools to share your ESG aspirations and achievements.
Ensure key company policies are clearly and consistently communicated.
Keep staff up to date with powerful news features.
Put your company values on your intranet.
Make your executive team visible to everyone.
Create channels that focus on diversity and inclusion.
Run a quick poll amongst staff for a rapid response of opinion.
As we all continue to become more conscientious, we should also continue to examine how we are communicating about ESG and sharing experiences of engagement within our workplaces. In doing so, we can help to strengthen the way our organizations are perceived by external parties concerned with our environmental and social impacts through our leaders.
Intranets can play a crucial role in helping companies integrate ESG principles into their business operations and culture, while also providing a platform for employee engagement and collaboration towards achieving ESG goals.