How can you improve ESG? Here are 6 practical steps.
September 13, 2021
Maybe you’ve got a solid foundation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles at your company — but you’re looking to take them to the next level.
You’ve ensured you’re using fair trade practices in manufacturing, you’re net-zero carbon emissions and you’ve got a clear mission statement. These are all great — not just for your company, customers, employees, the environment — but for the world.
How do you go above and beyond to show examples of ESG in your company? There are a few key ways you can improve ESG.
Environmental factors are often one of the first examples of ESG issues that people think of. Especially in a circular economy, a company’s impact on the environment and what they do to protect it are of utmost importance.
Perhaps your company is already carbon-neutral, or maybe you make all your products from 100% recyclable materials. Part of a circular design, the circular economy and sustainability, however, is constant re-design — which includes how your company and its systems run.
Are there ways you can...
One of the most powerful tools you can have is information — and smart products enable you to access and analyze a wealth of it.
They can help learn more about your company’s operations, enhance systems and optimize processes. They can take your company’s mission and turn it into action. And they can be a great avenue to share the work you're doing with consumers; better yet, they are a great way to get consumers involved with that work to create even more impact.
For just a few examples, smart products and packaging can:
It can also take some of the stress off your shoulders as you have the ability to access and control systems remotely — you can let technology streamline processes for you.
When it comes to improving examples of ESG regarding the environment at your company, smart products are one of the best tools.
When looking to improve your environmental, social and governance examples at your company, social culture plays a large role in that.
This isn’t just the culture within your company’s walls — but how you communicate and interact with those outside of it.
If your products are 100% recyclable, but customers don’t know how to go actually recycle them and they end up in a landfill, much of your hard work goes to waste.
On the flip side, if your products are circular and there’s a simple way to keep them in constant use, how can you go above and beyond to communicate with customers and encourage them to have better ESG themselves?
If you’re looking to improve ESG examples regarding the social aspects at your company, ask yourself: How can you…
Your employees know your company better than anyone. They obviously play a crucial role in the company’s success — from ensuring day-to-day processes flow smoothly to helping shape the overarching goals of your brand and making them possible.
The Pulse of the American Worker Survey found that 87% of remote workers in the U.S. want the opportunity to do so at least one day a week. Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have begun to pay extra attention to employee’s mental health and productivity — particularly when it comes to their work environment. Others, however, have failed to listen to what their employees have to say.
Check in with your employees. Ask how they’re doing, and consider:
Your company cannot function without employees — and they are one of your best indicators of your performance, how you’re meeting needs and the long-term outlook of your brand.
Governance focuses largely on the ethics at your company — including things like performing accounting audits, avoiding illegal practices and conflicts of interests, and steering clear of unethical influences from board members or investors.
As you’re looking for how to improve your company’s ESG governance, one of the best examples is by increasing your company’s self-accountability.
Maybe you already have an annual accounting audit. Are there other avenues you could pursue to hold different areas of your company accountable? Could you perform quarterly audits instead of annual ones to stay on top of practices?
The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors found that 87% of U.S. investors said their company uses key performance indicators (KPIs) when making investment decisions. Can you use key performance indicators (KPIs) and compile a report to assess your progress and show where you want to improve?
Governance is focused on ethics and principles — and it starts from within. When you set the standards internally, that shows customers, employees, investors and others that you’ve got strong governance principles as part of your business’s ESG.
To go a step further in your ESG governance examples, share them with your partners — from farmers sourcing raw materials, to investors helping fund your company. You can serve as a leader that pushes everyone to increase their principles.
To extend your reach:
ESG principles are a core part of your company, but they’re only as valuable as far as your company reaches. When you find ways to improve your company’s ESG, everyone benefits.