Environment, News

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Documents

What are ESG Policies?

We have noticed an increase in enquiries about ESG policies and ESG strategy implementation in businesses over the last month and would like to detail what these are and what they should comprise of. In the past, we have categorised ESG-type policies (CSR, Environmental and Sustainability) loosely under ethical documents. However, even though these can be separated, the group categorisation of ESG is more fitting for modern companies.

ESG Meaning in Business

When we think of the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental – they can be used as the basis for ESG factors, expanding on each area to take into account factors running a business such as:

  • Your responsibilities to the environment
  • Your duties to social equality and the growth of individuals you employ
  • Your obligations to managing risk and sound financial management, making your organisation sustainable long term
  • Your commitment to ensuring your partners and supply chain adhere to the same principles

Why do I Need ESG Policies?

Every company is morally obligated to operate an ESG sustainable business that has no negative impact on the world, provides a safe, productive working place and is environmentally friendly as possible. All companies are also legally obligated to adhere to the laws around Modern Slavery, Tax Evasion, and other top-line duties. Not only are we writing more documents for companies that existing suppliers and partners are asking for ESG documentation, but we are also finding that tenders, bank loans and other investors require solid ESG planning and execution. This includes specific targets and Key Performance Indicators around ESG, as well as evidence that the companies are carrying out best practices in these areas.

ESG Sustainability?

You should be aware that ESG is under constant development, and some of it can be considered ongoing work in progress. For example, when more sustainable products or waste disposal methods come to market, you may make it part of your company policy to only use these rather than the previous types. Replacing halogen lights with LEDs a few years ago is a good example.

The United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals

We recommend that you become familiar with the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals, which provide information on the underlying issues affecting the world, and consider how your organisation can help stop, minimise or not contribute negatively to any of these. The 17 Sustainability Goals are:

  • No Poverty. End poverty in all forms everywhere
  • Zero Hunger. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Good Health and Well-Being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Quality Education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Gender Equality. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Clean Water and Sanitation. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Affordable and Clean Energy. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
  • Reduced Inequalities. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
  • Responsible Consumption and Production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Climate Action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Life Below Water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Life On Land. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Partnerships For the Goals. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Which Policies fall Under ESG?

Currently, we write the following policies for our clients and consider these to fall under the ESG remit:

  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Environmental Policy
  • Sustainability Policy
  • Waste Management
  • Conflicts of Interest Policy
  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Quality Controls
  • Financial Controls
  • Complaints Policy and Procedures
  • Incident Response
  • Anti-Modern Slavery
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Funding
  • Sanctions Compliance
  • Anti-Tax Evasion

There are many more variants on the above; however, these are the primary documents you should consider when approaching building your ESG library.

How We Can Help

We would love to help you formulate and write your ESG policies. Please drop us a message using the form below.

Telephone

Office: 01244 342 618

Mobile Numbers

Joanne: 07764 258 001
Shaun:   07908 688 170