Economic crisis and the recent health crisis have accelerated the integration of ESG criteria in public, private and not-for-profit/ third sector organisations. COVID-19 crisis has forced us all to rethink how we conduct business, how we create value for stakeholders, our own values and our purpose. The world as we know it is changing and we now have a monumental opportunity to create a better, fairer, just world for us and the generations to come. The pandemic has forced stakeholders to re-evaluate their priorities, reflect on which companies to support, and ultimately become agents for Sustainability.
Stakeholders look at how companies treat their employees, protect their customers, engage with their suppliers, develop products/services, impact communities and how they develop their ESG strategies and action plans for addressing local and global challenges. Legislation is also more geared towards addressing the environmental crisis and focuses on social justice, transparency and accountability at both entity and product/service level.
ESG is gaining momentum globally, in Europe and in Cyprus. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are pushing further for ESG integration and for tangible outcomes of environmental, social, collaborative and governance nature. Concerns relevant to environmental protection, social impact, corporate governance are part of the agenda and despite these turbulent times, Sustainability and ESG are thriving.
What is ESG and why is it Important?
ESG represents a new way of thinking and behaving and is a stakeholder-centric approach to doing business. Integrating ESG criteria within strategies, action plans and initiatives is a growing expectation from all internal and external stakeholders.
Legislation is now more geared towards addressing the environmental crisis and focuses on social justice, transparency and accountability. An increasing body of research shows a positive link between ESG performance and financial performance and value creation.
ESG covers a quite broad set of topics. Organisations who commit to ESG, commit also to being accountable and transparent towards their stakeholders. ESG is action oriented, and its success lies in introducing measurable KPIs and solid business systems that enable organisations to identify areas of improvement, gain competitive advantage, increase their customer base, avoid risks and become future-fit.