Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) is a framework designed to be embedded into an organisation’s strategy. As stakeholder attitudes develop over time, adopting and abiding by such principles is becoming a key consideration for corporates. With social value becoming an increasing part of organisations’ ‘licence to operate’, corporates are beginning to look at the ‘S’ as a means of maximising social impact.
The ‘S’ element within the ESG framework is challenging for businesses. The scale and breadth of social issues makes it more difficult to define than environmental and governance issues, leaving many companies confused on where to focus their social efforts.
Creating a charity and corporate partnership is one key strategy for maximising the ‘S’ in your ESG framework. However, there are also other approaches to consider.
Key Approaches to Maximise ‘S’ in ESG
Identify social impact issues your business is uniquely poisitioned to improve
Identify which potential issues your organisation is uniquely positioned to tackle, considering the resources your corporation has access to. Dedicate your organisation to those specific social issue(s) publicly in your external communications. Ensure your board, staff and partners know exactly what issues you’re working on and what you’re doing to help tackle the issue. This will ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the social issues you are trying to achieve.
Avoid being all-encompassing
No organisation can work on every social issue effectively. It’s unlikely that your business will have the expertise to position yourself externally as solely specialising in an entire social area. Working on complex issues requires collaborative partnerships, with each partner playing a distinct role. Therefore, clearly identifying the exact social impact issue(s) you are working towards will make it easier for investors to understand the ‘S’ in your ESG. This will increase investment potential, and improve your chances of further charity partnership opportunities.
Measure your progress
Identifying the correct social strategy within your ESG framework will take time to consider, develop and flourish. Your organisation may not have all the answers initially and it can take years to demonstrate results. Therefore, it is extremely important to invest in measuring your social impact. This will help identify which strategies are working well and need further development, and which ones need revised entirely within your ESG framework.
Seek partnernerships with diverse groups
Partnering with groups that share your purpose and commitment to advancing social impact will complement and accelerate your work. Ensure that inclusion remains a core component in your efforts, such as intentionally partnering with diverse groups and encouraging a wide range of voices, including stakeholders who are most impacted by the issue.
Identifying and developing the ‘S’ in your ESG can seem daunting. However, it is extremely important, not only for your organisation, but to help tackle greater social issues and create improved communities. By following these steps, we hope you can maximise the social element of your ESG.
Contact Our Partnerships Practice
If you are interested in developing your social impact, gaining support with your ESG strategy, or are interested in learning more about developing charity partnerships, visit here or contact Denise Cranston, Head of Partnerships Advisory Practice.