6 Ways ESG Policies Benefit Dental Practices
November 2, 2021
At a glance
- Sustainability matters: ESG exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic and is seen as a competitive differentiator for businesses of all sizes, including dentists.
- Boost your ESG efforts: Adopting an ESG strategy can cultivate deeper patient loyalty and trust and empower you to give back to your community.
- Use your resources: You can partner with Aprio to develop a comprehensive ESG strategy and put it into action. Click below to get in touch with our team.
The full story:
Many standard healthcare trends and services changed over the course of the past year. But one has remained consistent: the rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies.
In fact, it’s safe to say that ESG has never been more popular or timely than it is now. The COVID-19 pandemic shed a stark light on society’s values, inequities and global and existential issues that will come to define generations.
Today’s consumers expect their healthcare providers and practitioners to uphold ESG values — and that includes dentists. Below, we’ve outlined the top six ways your business, patients and employees will benefit from the implementation of ESG practices.
1. Increase patients’ trust in your practice
A recent study showed that 45% of consumers worldwide specifically seek out sustainable or environmentally responsible brands. Put simply, your patients are expecting your procedural methods to reflect sustainability, and they want you to create fair and equitable policies. These are necessary and will go a long way toward building trust and loyalty across your patient base.
2. Provide more conscientious patient care with sustainable supplies
Today, there are more opportunities than ever before to partner with suppliers and manufacturers and distributors that produce innovative and sustainable tools and products. As we approach the end of the year, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your current product line, evaluate its sustainability criteria (there are a number of resources and websites that rate product sustainability) and replace wasteful products with more environmentally friendly items.
3. Foster a more engaged team
Did you know that over 70% of people are more likely to work for a company that has a strong green footprint? In order to attract and retain the best staff members to round out your dental practice, you need to create and promote an impactful mission, vision and culture.
What are your practice’s core values? What purpose are you aiming to serve? Clearly defining and promoting these values throughout the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to retention, will help you foster a more engaged team that is fully committed to providing your patients with the best-possible experience and care.
4. Solidify your commitment to ethical cybersecurity practices
From a governance perspective, data security and privacy are becoming prime focuses in many ESG initiatives. As cybercrime has become more prevalent in recent years, more consumers are demanding that companies are held accountable for their approaches to handling sensitive information. Make sure that your dental practice has implemented contingency plans, safeguards and cybersecurity best practices for protecting your patients’ personal and health-related data in the event of a breach.
5. Prioritize diversity, inclusion and social purpose
2020 was a year defined by many powerful movements for social justice and equality. Consumers expect companies and their chosen service providers to make diversity and inclusion top priorities. As you head into next year, reflect on the internal culture of your dental practice: what are you doing to create a more inclusive workforce that reflects the rich diversity of your patient base? Where are you falling short?
It’s also important to have personal, honest and open conversations with your employees to discuss how they perceive your culture and gain important, critical feedback. These discussions will inform what you can do to create a welcoming environment that positively impacts employees and patients from all walks of life.
6. Enhance your brand and community reach
By promoting your ESG best practices and approaches externally and internally — whether it’s through advertisements, social media campaigns or patient newsletters — you can position yourself as a steward of sustainability within your community.
Aside from marketing, there are also plenty of other ways you can promote your practice’s ESG values to the wider public audience. These may include partnering with sustainable community organizations on joint initiatives or formally committing to your ESG efforts by becoming a Certified B Corporation.
The bottom line
At Aprio, we can provide the tangible support and resources you need to adopt ESG in your dental practice. Aside from our robust National Dental Team, our firm is also strongly committed to sustainability and regularly helps clients navigate their own sustainability journeys with our ESG Services.
 IBM, June 2020, accessed July 2021.
 Chris Crowell, “Survey: Employees want to work at companies with sustainability programs,” Solar Builder, February 18, 2019, https://solarbuildermag.com/news/survey-employees-more-likely-to-work-for-company-with-sustainability-programs/, accessed July 2021.
About the Author
As partner-in-charge of Aprio’s National Dental Industry Practice, Brad McKeiver arms dentists with real-time financial data about their practices. He has helped numerous dental practitioners make informed business decisions that focus on driving increased practice profitability, growth and value.