The impetus for ESG

By understanding the origins of ESG, and the financial imperative driving it, communicators can gain insights into how to create messaging around it.

Where does ESG live in your org?

Leading companies are shifting the way they do business and emphasizing relationships and business activities that create value in the long term. And the major stakeholders in those companies—their boards of directors and their investors—are in turn driving that emphasis, looking to executive managers to focus on long-term sustainability.

[FREE REPORT: Strengthen your knowledge and skill around ESG communications]

That is the core of ESG—Environmental, Social and Governance, the business approach that takes a comprehensive look at what it means for an organization to fully commit to sustainability and what it means in practical terms. ESG dates back to at least 2006, when the United Nations issued a report called Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and obtained 100 signatories from among the world’s largest institutional investors. Under the U.N. Principles, ESG criteria was for the first time required to be part of financial evaluations of companies. Since then, the PRI, as it’s known, has grown to more than 3,000 signatories and more than $80 trillion in assets under management.

That, in short, underscores the attention being given to ESG. There’s a growing understanding and appreciation of climate risks. But in addition to sustainability, environmental action and climate change, ESG encompasses support for local communities, corporate social responsibility and DE&I. It could relate to water, access to food, animal welfare, responsible foresting, climate impact, diversity and inclusion, among many other things.

These are just some of the insights in our exclusive ESG report for members of Ragan’s Communications Council. Get started now by downloading our free ESG communications executive summary.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

  • The powerful impact ESG has had on the C-suite, on boards of directors, and on investors.
  • The initial impetus for ESG in the first decade of this century.
  • How ESG works in action from specific examples.
  • Where ESG fits in the enterprise.
  • The role of ESG-related communications in reputation management.
  • Communications strategies built specifically for ESG.
  • How to measure ESG communications efforts.
  • Where ESG should reside among the array of other communications priorities.

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