Hattie Curl, Account Director
ESG. You’ve probably heard this term bandied around, particularly amongst companies and investors. But what does it mean, why is it important – and above all, how can businesses communicate their ESG efforts?
At its core, the ESG acronym refers to the three key factors when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of a business.
E – Environmental
Environmental is the first part of the acronym, which examines how a business performs in regard to safeguarding the environment. Criteria that are often focused on include waste and pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and deforestation.
S – Social
Social looks at how companies treat their employees and the local community, concentrating on topics such as diversity and inclusion (D&I), working conditions, supporting local communities and health and safety.
G – Governance
Finally, governance examines how a business polices itself and how it is governed. It focuses on areas such as tax strategy, board diversity and structure, corruption and bribery and donations.
Don’t forget the C
Now, more than ever, investors, consumers and businesses alike are putting the pressure on to have a robust ESG strategy. And it’s not just the strategy itself that companies need to get right. More than ever, the comms around the strategy is just as important.
This is why another crucial letter is C – Communication. Effectively communicating ESG strategies with key stakeholders is paramount for all businesses.
This might be through owned channels – such as your website’s blog or social media – or earned channels including the press. A great recent example of this is from Mastercard. It recently announced that it will link all employee bonuses to ESG initiatives, expanding an earlier programme which was limited to its senior executives. By doing so, it will help Mastercard achieve its goals of cutting carbon usage, improving financial inclusion and gender pay parity.
Not only has Mastercard clearly communicated its plans, but it has utilised its channels to do so in an educational, authentic way. The announcement has been picked up by the likes of Bloomberg and Reuters as well as other trade publications and has been posted to its blog, LinkedIn and Twitter to strong levels of engagement.
Are you interested in hearing about how we can help develop your ESG communications strategy? Get in touch.