In recent years, the world has woken up to the fact that serious action needs to be taken by governments, businesses and people alike if we want to achieve just this one goal – make our planet a better place for everyone.
It’s a topic that has caused controversy and conflict, despite our common goals. We are all working towards the same outcome and taking personal responsibility for our own imprint on the world. From refusing to buy plastic, to becoming plant-based or even transitioning to electric cars, we are all doing our bit towards repairing the damage caused by generations of humans.
And the buck doesn’t stop with individuals, or even governments. Businesses have had to look within and have honest conversations at management level about what they could be doing better, where their values lie and how important creating change is to them. Especially when it comes to investment.
This is why ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) has become one of the fastest developing set of principles in the history of capital markets. Societal change has effectively shone a light in the eye of organisations of all sizes around the world and held them accountable. It has forced many firms to take a hard look at ESG, despite the fact it has been around for decades, and strategise how to weave its requirements into how they do business. And it’s not just public scrutiny into how corporations achieve this, but investors also.
Everyone who has dipped their toes into the pool of ESG and ESG data knows that there is still a serious lack of clarity around standards and reporting measures – despite the fact investor demand in ESG-centric businesses continues to increase. We know the ESG landscape is broad, diverse and complex. Many companies have taken to “greenwashing” – where they outwardly appear to prioritise environmental and social issues, but fail to truly do so within the confines of their own four walls.
Some companies have inadvertently chosen “short-termism” – fixating on managing for the short-term rather than the longer-term. Which means many of their current ESG initiatives are not future-proof, non-beneficial and will not hold up against true standards and regulations when they are enforced.
With so much ambiguity, how can any business truly say they are ESG-focused, driven and compliant, no matter how strongly they feel about it?
The truth is, many can’t just yet. And this is why we have worked with the A-Team Group to put together the first ESG Handbook, designed to cover all elements of ESG, from an initial definition and why ESG is important, to existing and emerging regulations, data challenges and solutions, regulatory reporting requirements, industry initiatives, and the call for global and consistent standards for sustainability reporting.
This new, first-of-its-kind handbook delves into the several important and pressing topics:
- The scope and definition of ESG
- Existing and emerging regulations
- Firms subject to the rules and regulations
- Data types and data challenges
- Regulatory reporting requirements
- The need for data and reporting standards
- Where next for ESG and market participants
It also offers step-by-step action plans for data management and the correct regulatory reporting to help achieve ESG best practice, as well as an outlook into what is next for ESG.