The principles of Environmental, Social, Governance is now becoming embedded within businesses who wish to have a future.
Sustainable businesses, from the big corporates to the micro-companies, are now being driven by ESG/ Social Value positions, and the assessment and timeline for compliance is now unforgiving
Supply chains are now adopting measures and insisting on provable metrics to show that the business supplying goods and services is serious about the principles of caring for the Environment, and connecting with the Community, in a way that is verifiable, and reportable, and to an auditable standard
So, what of the Charities and organisations to which the businesses donate money, volunteer, and gift?
Here’s the problem in two parts
- The Businesses, in the way that ESG is being driven across all industries, are no longer GIVING, they are BUYING from Good Causes. They are buying an IMPACT statement, that proves the support, to the standard that they require for their business
- The audit process within the business supply chains, is now spilling over to the Charities and Good Causes, as “suppliers” to the companies
This shift is both swift and brutal, in the way that Good Causes need to respond, or lose out on huge amounts of support from businesses
The age of pure altruism, if it ever existed, is rapidly disappearing, in favour of the frameworks of reporting that are now demanded
Charities in the main, appear totally unprepared for this lightening pace shift, and need to adopt a strategy and set of actions to showcase themselves, or risk losing the support of businesses across the land
It is a make-or-break position for many charities and social organisations, in the next 9-12 months, as businesses are aligning swiftly to this new requirement
There are again two aspects to consider, as a charitable organisation
- Do you have the necessary approach, systems, and reporting in place to be able to show that your OWN activities are compliant, and align to the ESG framework?
- Do you have a set of verifiable measures, that allow you to present this report to a business who wishes to support, or continue to support you?
The third question relates to the auditability of these measures and reports. Spreadsheets and self-entered data collections, are NO LONGER acceptable
Organisations, be they businesses or charities, community groups or not for profits, corporates, or SME’s need to bring that matter to their board meetings now, without delay
The measures needed will be:
CO2e – the carbon emissions attributable to the actions of the business or charity.
Community Credits, or equivalent unifying independent measure, brought about by the acts of giving (donations, volunteering, gifting) from the business to the Good Causes.
Finding a methodology to verify these measures, is brought about by an assessment, audit, or independent awarding body, who will check and pass the measures as being real and robust.
For the environmental impact all organisations need to establish a base-line carbon footprint measure, by an external body, that can become the starting point for continuous improvement.
For Social Impact, Investors In Community provides the means to show the Community Credits, for all outreach activity and support.
Time is now of the essence for organisations, both business and Good Causes, to take swift and decisive action. To ignore this as some passing fad, is a mistake that will cost dearly.
Trustees, as with Directors need to plan, and execute as quickly as resources will allow. If the timeline looks protracted, consider engaging external expertise and specialist resource.
Social Value, and ESG, and whatever acronym you prefer, is the main subject of boardrooms in 2022. It is the framework and catalyst for change, that will drive our society for the coming decade.
Take positive steps now and secure your organisation’s future.