With the rise of global sustainability challenges such as climate risk, privacy and data security, along with regulatory pressures, companies in recent years have been looking increasingly at sustainability and the impact their business has on the environment around them. ESG is a way for companies to evaluate their sustainability status, and it is commonly used by investors to screen potential investments and help determine their future financial performance.
What is ESG?
ESG stands for environmental, social and governance and is a set of standards for a company’s operations in each of these areas.
This could include a company’s energy use or efficiency, waste management, pollution and natural resource conservation.
This concerns people and the company’s business relationships, and showing how they positively impact their employees, customers and the communities around them. It could include employee health and safety, customer satisfaction, data protection and privacy, and diversity. Do they also work with suppliers that have similar standards and values?
This examines how the company is governed, and how it responds and interacts with shareholders. It involves transparent decision making, accurate accounting methods and avoiding conflicts of interest in the choice of Board members.
Ashtons has been working towards sustainable practice for many years, in particular with reduction of paper use and wastage via our suite of electronic systems; Live View electronic reporting, e-Works e-prescribing and e-learning modules; and undertaking an ESG assessment will allow us to fully evaluate our current standing against ESG metrics and implement strategies for any necessary improvements.
To help us do this, Ashtons have recently engaged Sustainable Advantage, a leading independent ESG consultant in the UK, to complete a sustainability impact report, which will soon be shared with stakeholders. We are very excited about this next step and are committed becoming a leader in ethical and sustainable business practice.