Working towards brighter ESG reporting

In the latest issue of the IR Society's publication, Informed, Stephen Butler shares the findings of our B2B Brightest Brands survey in the context of ESG.

B2B brands have fresh challenges to meet. With developments relating to COVID-19, ESG, climate change and stakeholder capitalism, businesses are expected to adjust and reprioritise. In doing so, they need to consider how they present themselves to the outside world in the new normal.

Our findings show that companies are investing in ESG, yet the disparity in scores between purpose and ESG suggests that companies are not always fully integrating ESG into their business. Instead, they appear to be focusing on ESG as a standalone area.

Clear ESG strategy driven by purpose
Our success criteria for a ‘clear ESG strategy driven by purpose’ looked for:

• a clear link between the company’s purpose and ESG strategy

• a mix of quantitative and qualitative targets with clear dates

• an established and transparent approach to measurement and data disclosure

Tips for a purpose-driven ESG strategy
We believe there are certain key points that companies should consider when addressing their corporate purpose and developing a strategy:

  • A clear purpose

Define a clear purpose that speaks to the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’, in a way that is authentic, relevant and aspirational. Acting as a true north star, a company’s purpose should guide everything from business strategy to transformational change.

  • Priority topics

Establish clear priorities for action, defined through a robust materiality process that includes research across the value chain and engagement with stakeholders.

  • ESG strategy

Ensure that the ESG strategy is aligned to the company purpose and that it is clear, measurable, transparent, aspirational and achievable. It should contain long- and short-term goals as well as key performance indicators.

  • Integration into core business

Wherever possible, link elements of the sustainability strategy closely with business processes (e.g. sustainable supply chain priorities into the supply chain strategy).

  • Integration into risk management and decision-making

Embed ESG in risk management, particularly for climate change, which represents a material risk to many companies. 

Read the full article here.

Find out more about our B2B Brightest Brands survey and key findings.

If you would like to discuss how to improve your ESG reporting, please get in touch.