Obbagy Consulting reports that the growing interest in ESG is related to The ESG Factor - retaining talent, reducing costs through risk management, increasing access to markets, maintaining an organization’s reputation, and steady business performance. These factors contribute to an organization’s bottom line and long term stability.
Being efficient, effective and relevant have always been the hallmarks of successful internal functions.
Yet many organizations find it is a challenge to enhance internal functions that are operating reasonably well but may not be fully consistent with new or emerging business realities.
Obbagy Consulting offers Performance Assessment Services to assist organizations maintain their sharp edge on the business relevancy of internal functions, specifically we focus on the environmental and social management function.
We don’t try to reinvent programs or practices or recommend actions that are disconnected to company culture. Instead, we focus on identifying hidden strengths and internal connections that can be leveraged in a practical and actionable manner to sustain performance and increase the return on investment.
Our approach is to review a broad array of data and analyze it relative to the environmental management function’s integration with organizational processes, risk management strategies, communication channels, and license to operate.
For example, a mining client had an evolving business strategy that included increased focus on local economic development to improve supply chain management. The assessment recommended that the environmental management function increase its presence as a community sustainability trainer as a way to connect to local businesses.
For a retail client, we suggested that the company consider identifying employees to be community ambassadors speaking on behalf of the organization but also to understand current trends, thoughts, and to obtain informal feedback on storefront operations.
Our expertise is based on more than 25 years assessing programs and practices for industry leaders and governmental organizations across the globe. We have worked in more than 20 countries.
Let’s come to our senses about the future. Today we have cleaner air, cleaner water, safer workplaces, and more responsive waste disposal practices. Assets under management that apply many methods to environmental and social governance (ESG) investing have grown to an estimated $23 trillion globally, an increase of more than 600% over the past decade. Stakeholders are appreciative of these efforts and investors have recognized the need.
Why role back the clock? Let our ESG legacy be one of leadership for responsible resource management so that future generations will be able to prosper and look back at and say thank you for all the hard work and letting us tackle the next big issue.
At every opportunity we should share with our elected officials and stakeholders the value we place on strong ESG practices and the lack of scientific evidence to roll back ESG policies and regulations.
Through the identification and control of ES risks, implementation of outreach programs, and setting realistic regulatory budgets, ESG has been good for society. Our legacy, if we choose it, will be one that has:
 Sustainable Funds US Landscape Report, Morningstar Research, January 2018.
As the Managing Director of Obbagy Consulting I have had the opportunity to travel around the world on behalf of corporations, governmental agencies, and for business development purposes.
What emerged from conversations with factory workers, miners, managers, senior executives, and governmental representatives in the US and abroad was a shared interest in embracing the policies for a better tomorrow.
Yes we all had different opinions as to strategy, but the underlying sense of mission was to preserve the environment, improve the lives of working men and women, and demonstrate a commitment to equality so that we can all touch the envelop of prosperity. Tensions emerge when perceptions of these core valves are stressed.
We change, we grow, and we welcome actions for impact. Our test will be to find common ground for moving forward to help build upon the incredible strength of people around the world. I believe we can achieve a better tomorrow as we have done in the past through incremental innovative pragmatism.
Clearly there is a growing need/desire to quantify the value ESG creates for organizations engaging in sustainability programs. Investors, governmental representatives, citizens, and others want to understand in a clear and concise manner the performance of sustainability efforts and return on investment.
From my perspective there are two dimensions to this challenge. The first one is focused on understanding the financial implications of sustainability initiatives relative to the efficient use of resources, employee wellness, and social equity. The Sustainability Metrics Calculator is a tool designed to address this dimension. The calculator translates environmental and social actions into financial terms. The outputs depict the competitive effects of sustainability efforts. The data analytics establish a benchmark confirming current activities or the need to improve the management of environmental impacts and employee/social initiatives for more synergy and greater return on the investments.
The second dimension is quantifying the ESG value that is being created by an organization. One way to think about this dimension is to acknowledge that many leading organizations within the heavy industry category create ESG value over a period of years. They do so by implementing a series of incremental actions that reduce impacts on natural resources, create jobs such that employees are treated fairly across the globe, and target sponsorships and grants towards activities that lead to positive social, educational, and environmental outcomes.
Alternatively, organizations such as retailers or consumer product manufacturers create EGS value by implementing strategies focused on green buildings, eco-friendly product selection, public reporting, and the nature of charitable giving programs. Similarly organizations manufacturing products requiring design approval or certification, create value through establishing a record of compliance, safety and quality of goods and services that underlie product positioning.
Year over year improvements by leading heavy industry, consumer product manufacturers, and retailers, for example, sustain the license to operate and contribute to growth and expansion.
In brief, the two dimensions for quantifying improvements and value are linked. To achieve sustained positive impact organizations need to continually monitor activities and engage in program changes over a period of time. Managing ESG issues is a key determinant of success and value creation.