ESG explained

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is an umbrella term which refers to how companies perform on non-financial metrics.

It has been gathering momentum in recent years as stakeholders, regulators, funders, and consumers are asking deeper and more incisive questions about the organisations they work with, fund, and contribute to. Recent legislative changes have created a whole new system for categorically reporting on your organisation's impact on ESG criteria, and setting out a credible, and testable ESG strategy and reporting mechanism is critical to ensure future success.

For those who are not subject to mandatory ESG reporting, many are now working actively to take steps which will make their business more sustainable, including initiatives such as introducing paper-free workplaces, encouraging sustainable work travel policies, working from home opportunities and the purchasing of more environmentally friendly products. Many companies are reporting on their impacts voluntarily, while more are coming under the scrutiny of regulators or companies in their value chain to do so. Crowe has developed the experience and understanding to assist you in this work, and this page is intended to provide you with some introductory insights on ESG and how this could apply to your organisation.

Setting out an ESG strategy is among the first steps many organisations are taking. A creative, ambitious, and realistic ESG strategy will help your organisation address environmental, social and governance issues which impact you. With an effective and clear strategy you will be able to address these changes in a way which builds stakeholder trust, rigorous oversight and risk-management across the three headlines of Environmental, Social, and Governance.

Having an ESG strategy matters both for you and those you work with.

There are many considerations to be worked through when developing an ESG strategy, including standards, customer expectations, investor concerns, and funder/investor requirements.

Through the development and implementation of an ESG strategy, you are not only finding ways to be more sustainable and care for both the planet and the people on it, but it is also a way for your organisation to show clients, service users and investors your commitment to following sustainable standards. This also means that those you work with can more easily meet their own requirements set out in the various reporting standards and directives.

Sustainability is becoming a greater concern to consumers and investors. Research has shown that the top three stakeholder-driven factors which will impact the sustainability approaches of an organisation are employee pressure, consumer pressure, and investor and shareholder pressure.

It is therefore beneficial to have a strategy which allows you to showcase to your clients and customers your commitment towards responsible and sustainable business practices.

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Consulting Partner Shane McQuillan Crowe Ireland
Shane McQuillan
Partner, Consulting
Roseanna O'Hanlon, Partner, Audit - Crowe Ireland
Roseanna O'Hanlon
Partner, Audit