The ESG Continuum Accepted Practices and New Frontiers by Alexis McCarthy
Where are you on the ESG Continuum
Where is your family?
Where is your business?
Where do you want to be?
The ESG Continuum is a description of the spectrum and movement of issues surrounding and including all things environmental, social and governance related. It infers sustainability, impact, values and personal and corporate responsibility on a small and large scale. Environmental, social and governance issues are not on the sidelines anymore...they make up the playing field. $10 trillion dollars- that is how much of other people's money BlackRock manages, maybe some of that is yours. Four years ago ESG was not an active part of BlackRock's lexicon. Recently, in his annual letter the CEO is calling for stakeholder capitalism and working to empower clients with choice on ESG votes. He states, "Most stakeholders – from shareholders, to employees, to customers, to communities, and regulators – now expect companies to play a role in decarbonizing the global economy." 1. Where are you on the ESG Continuum? Accepted practices or new frontiers. There is a lot more written about ESG today. That is good and bad. More to take in and more to consider. You may be at the listening stage. Finding trusted resources like GIIN, USSIF, SASB, CERES, CarbonTracker, As You Sow. You may be farther along, identifying socially responsible black women owned businesses to invest in through black led investment firms like Harlem Capital, Angel Investment Network, Black Angel Tech Fund etc. There is no wrong place to be on the Continuum. There is just one direction to move, and that is forward. 2. Where are your people: colleagues, family, friends? You are not on the Continuum alone. Your colleagues, friends and family members are on the journey too. Share your resources with them and they can do the same. When you talk about these issues and challenges they become real and solvable. It is also way more fun together! 3. Where is your business? "Putting your company’s purpose at the foundation of your relationships with your stakeholders is critical to long-term success," says BlackRock CEO. Now check to see if your supply chain companies are living their purpose. If you are beyond that and looking for more resources to chart your path and want to put in place the appropriate guardrails, check out BCorp, SASB, 17 SDGs 4.Where do you want to be? It is often said if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Others can learn from your process. It is important to share your goals, hesitations, missteps and accomplishments. Transparency counts and lifting other businesses and organizations alongside yours creates exponential impact. Set goals in line with the purpose of your company and allow it to flourish. Track those goals yearly. Articulate your intention alongside your actions. Share them with your clients.
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January, the month of resolutions. Resolve to listen, learn and act. We have one world, we are one race, the human race and we need to begin to change our habits to keep life on earth thriving. We are innovators and changemakers. Let's put that ingenuity and grit to work together to make this world a better, cleaner, safer place for all of us and generations to come.
If you want to learn more about ESG and Sustainability personally or professionally, get in touch. I would love to connect. Best, Alexis