Know what ESG stands for
Answer your why
Find your entry point
Think about your how
Figure out your when
written by Alexis McCarthy Some of you are getting back into shape after a long break and the disruption caused by COVID. Some of you might be training for a marathon. Some of you might be happy carving out time for a workout, yoga, or a run around the block. Whatever it is, it takes time, perspective and planning. You don't want to be too hard on yourself after a long period of inactivity. You are excited to get out there. You need to bring some perspective and personal forgiveness. Beginning the journey to a more sustainable "you and your business" starts the very same way. 1. Know what ESG stands for ESG - What does it stand for: environmental, social and governance. These are the non- financial factors many are now looking at to determine the prospects of various entities to deliver on promises of profit and impact. ESG principles have been around for a long time in different forms. For some, it was the 19th century Quakers and other religious groups restricting investments to exclude weapons, alcohol, and tobacco related enterprises. Fast- forward to the 20th century, the divestment from apartheid South Africa was a highly visible point for this movement, started in the 60's and gained traction in the 80's. The development of the Domini 400 Social Index (now MSCI KLD) in the mid 90's was a crucial data tracking step. All of these strides contributed to last week's announcement by the Harvard endowment that they will be divesting from the fossil fuel industry. And the process continues.... 2. Answer your why This is a personal journey. Some will do it for their kids. Some will do it for their families. Some will do it for their clients. Some will do it for their community. Some will do it for their career. Some will do it for their faith. Some will do it for their business. Some will do it for their sanity. 3. Find your entry point
Maybe it's a community garden, workforce housing, a clean up or a visit to the local food pantry after one of the recent storms or fires. It could be as simple as deciding to take the train instead of your car on your next trip. Perhaps you want to find out what your personal or business carbon footprint is, where and how your retirement savings are invested. Maybe you are wondering how many women or people of color sit on the board of the bank where your money is deposited, or the insurance company that holds your business policy. Maybe none of these come to mind immediately for you, but they did come to mind for your client. Are you prepared to answer them? The first step is to begin to ask questions. 4.Think about your how Once you become familiar with ESG principles and providers, you can continue on your journey. Think about your choices. Talk with experienced partners. Determine how you and your business plan to get involved and set goals to make this world a cleaner, safer, more equitable place for all of us. 5. Figure out your when There is no time like now!
Climate Week NYC 2021- Why It Matters and What Will Be Happening
September is the time to take one step that will get you and your business closer to sustainability. Find the resources that can help you learn how best to move forward around the issue areas you care most about. Think glocal- global for forward thinkers showing us "how its being done" now in other parts of the world and local for practitioners and businesses that can help your plan become a reality. Start today!
If you want to learn more about ESG and Sustainability personally or professionally, get in touch. I would love to connect. Best, Alexis