Create Value in Your Company with an ESG Lifestyle Change

November 9, 2022

At a glance

  • Main takeaway: More companies are understanding the benefits that can come from implementing ESG into their business strategy as a key driver in value creation.
  • Impact on your business: There are a few steps businesses can take to develop a solid ESG strategy and achieve sustainable benefits.
  • Next steps: Aprio’s ESG Services team can help you identify your organization’s approach to ESG and how sustainable opportunities can fit within your strategic goals.

Are you ready to start your ESG journey? Contact our team for a complimentary consultation.

The full story:

ESG has gone through an impressive transformation.  Many viewed it as a buzzword, however, today it is considered an essential business strategy.

Businesses of all sizes are actively adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, boards are linking ESG benchmarks to executive pay, and millennials and gen Z are using it to not only evaluate the brands they shop with, but whether the company they are interviewing with aligns to their values.

Over the last two years the ESG evolution has catapulted into mainstream markets as more companies are understanding the long-term benefits that can come from a commitment to simply do better. When well-managed companies have a solid ESG plan in place, they can uncover a unique driver to create value.

Here are three steps you can use to begin your company’s ESG lifestyle change.

What are you doing today that could be classified as ESG?

You may not even realize it, but you probably have programs in place that fall under the ESG umbrella. Maybe they aren’t being effectively maintained or communicated, but they are there.

Take a step back and perform an internal assessment of your current initiatives. Now, here’s a secret. You aren’t necessarily looking for complex programs. Are you sending out surveys to measure employee engagement on a quarterly or annual basis? Have you implemented programs that can positively impact the environment? Is the company and/or employees active in their local communities?

At the end of your assessment, you’ll have gained a better understanding of your company and how you can capitalize on your findings by categorizing them as ESG practices.

Establish your baseline to identify where you want to be

Now that you have the knowledge from your internal assessment, you can identify key ESG priorities. While all ESG issues are important, it’s unrealistic to do everything at once. To make real progress, keep it simple and aim for quick wins. How can you do this? Establish a two-year plan and identify SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) tasks that strategically align with your company’s goals, objectives and vision.

For example, employees are the biggest advocates you have. Think of them as your brand ambassadors. If you are experiencing rapid growth and need to recruit new talent to keep up with demand, focus on the social aspect of ESG. As mentioned above, when you perform employee engagement surveys, you can use those metrics for marketing on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Amplifying your employees as brand ambassadors with advance your recruitment strategy.

Once you’ve decided on where you want to be, you need to figure out the timeline, who will champion these initiatives and how you plan to communicate these goals internally and externally.

Defining your roadmap to get from point A to point B

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all framework when it comes to ESG. Roadmaps will look different for each company and industry sector; however, they are essential if you want your ESG initiatives to succeed and drive value. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has developed 77 industry-based standards to provide guidance on tailoring your roadmap. These standards, in theory, can help your company identify where your focus should be, for example:

  • Manufacturers might focus on the environment side through water management processes or fuel consumption for distribution, and the governance side by reviewing how well they know their supply chain vendors.
  • Healthcare professionals might focus on the governance side by focusing on cybersecurity solutions to protect patient health information, and the social side by evaluating how their team interacts with patients.
  • Restaurant owners might focus on the environment side by reducing waste and evaluating products, practices and tools that are sustainable.

The bottom line

Like with any lifestyle change, nothing happens overnight. To make progress, it takes time, hard work and dedication. When a solid ESG strategy is developed and efficiently implemented, it can drive long-term value creation.

Aprio’s ESG team can provide guidance to determine your organization’s approach to ESG and how sustainable opportunities can fit within your strategic goals. To learn more about ESG, connect with our team for a complimentary consultation.

Are you ready to start your ESG journey? Contact our team for a complimentary consultation.

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About the Author

Simeon Wallis

Simeon is the Chief Investment Officer of Aprio Wealth Management and the Director of Aprio Family Office. Simeon brings two decades of professional investing experience in publicly traded and privately held companies, as well as senior-level operating and strategy consulting experiences.