Tips for scaleups when setting up your ESG strategy

We’ve created an in-depth guide to putting in place an effective environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy for your business. Read the highlights here.

2 August 2022

An environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy is an increasingly important tool for businesses of all sizes. Here are some key learnings from BGF’s free ebook, ‘Your ESG journey: How to build your strategy’.

You can’t manage what don’t measure

The basis of the ‘E’ in your ESG strategy is to understand the environmental impact of your business. Whether greenhouse gas reporting is mandatory depends on the size and status of business. If so, your business will need to consider both direct and indirect emissions. When setting up an ESG strategy, it is useful to understand best practice in your industry when it comes to reporting frameworks.

Benchmark your ESG strategy using free online tools

A good place to start is to use free online tools to provide a holistic assessment of your company’s ESG impacts. Any business can use the B Impact Assessment, a reporting tool tied to the popular B Corp certification. The assessment can help a business understand how it stacks up against other companies of its size in the UK, Ireland or globally.

Amplify your strategy through your supply chain

Suppliers may account for a large proportion of your company’s ESG impacts. To get the maximum benefit from an ESG strategy, successful businesses engage with partners throughout the supply chain about topics such as working conditions – this is the ‘S’ in ESG. This process should continue past the onboarding stage to encompass monitoring and managing the supplier’s performance over time.

Well-organised boards create value in the business

The ‘G’ in ESG is about ensuring businesses are well-managed. An important element is appropriate oversight by a board of directors. Boards tend to perform well when they are made up of a diverse mix of talented individuals with complementary experience. Good communication is important in realising the benefits of an effective board.

Cybersecurity could be part of your ESG strategy

A rising number of businesses are including cybersecurity in their ESG framework. The risks of an inadequate cyber posture have never been greater. Equally, the benefits of a transparent approach to cybersecurity are being recognised by clients and investors. As with ESG more broadly, certification can help a company demonstrate it has measures in place to protect itself – and its customers.

Your ESG strategy could save you money and make you resilient

Perhaps the key takeaway from the ebook is that an ESG strategy is not simply a necessary evil, but could allow your business to become more efficient, gain entry to new markets, and win new customers. An effective strategy can galvanise your workforce, attract the right kind of talent, and help your company refine and deliver on its purpose.

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