December 3, 2021

A rising focus on ESG disclosure could put your business in the hot seat

It is more important than ever for businesses to understand their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and NetZero position.

Investors and funding providers are demanding companies report on their ESG performance. Government is now introducing questions within their procurement processes that request companies’ position and disclosure of ESG and customers are also demanding transparency of ESG and aspects like Modern Slavery, Carbon Emissions and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

What’s more, it becomes increasingly apparent that businesses must take up the leadership mantle if we are to make progress on these issues.

As COP26 (the 26th UN Climate Change Conference) wrapped up and world leaders departed Copenhagen amidst mixed response to their position and action on climate change issues, one thing became clear: business leaders seem to be far better placed than many governments to spearhead emissions reductions, setting NetZero targets and making meaningful commitments to ESG disclosure, reporting, and improving performance and emission reductions. Indeed, many companies are already aligning themselves to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A rising focus on ESG disclosure could put your business in the hot seat

This is in keeping with what we saw at the 2020 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos where 120 of the world’s largest companies supported the development of a core set of common metrics and disclosures on non-financial factors for their investors and other stakeholders.

Six months of open consultation culminated in a report: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation. These 21 core (essential, quantitative and within organisational bounds) and 34 expanded (sophisticated and tangible) metrics aim to improve how companies measure and demonstrate their contributions towards creating more prosperous, fulfilled societies and a more sustainable relationship with our planet.

In Australia, the rising focus on ESG disclosure has seen many ASX top 500 companies voluntarily undertake actions to develop an ESG strategy, setting NetZero targets and monitoring and reporting on their performance in line with the WEF Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics noted above.

But despite a 30% increase in uptake over the last 12 months, there are many laggards still to commence their ESG journey. So, what’s the hold up?

Market research conducted by 460degrees identified 5 key barriers:

  1. The belief that disclosure and reporting is expensive and time-consuming
  2. A lack of internal resources with the skills required to do the work
  3. Companies not knowing where (or even if) they should start to adopt ESG in their business
  4. A lack of understanding of the benefits of ESG disclosure, reporting and targets
  5. A lack of understanding around what data is important and required

In response to these findings, we have created a new practice and area of expertise within the wider business.

Using the human-centric approach 460degrees is known for, we have developed an affordable service, combining our data expertise with access to SaaS platforms, dashboards and reporting. With the right insights and opportunities at your fingertips, improving ESG within your business is both simpler and more effective.

The team here at 460degrees are well positioned to assist clients with a range of service offerings focused on improving your company’s ESG performance, including:

  • Whole of business assessments, purpose definition, maturity mapping, risk and gap analysis, commitment and statement development and reporting
  • ESG strategy and roadmaps, targets and goal setting, data analysis and intelligence
  • Implementation plans focused on data requirements, objectives, priorities, and outcomes
  • Program delivery (PMO), data gathering and analysis, benchmarking (WEF Metrics & SDGs), measurement and verification, technology SaaS platform and dashboards implementation
  • Detailed annual reporting and interim performance reviews, corrective action plans and recommendations for future improvements
  • Compliance checks for voluntary or mandatory obligations and disclosure requirements
  • Carbon neutrality and NetZero certification (Climate Active), GHG measurement and verification, carbon accounting and certified carbon offsetting

With a vision of setting the industry standard for enabling ESG adoption and compliance, 460degrees’ mission is clear:  to influence change and make a positive impact in the world through enabling ESG with expertise, desire and passion. We are focused on business and purpose for good, with emphasis on compliance and outperformance as a result.

We will achieve this by both leveraging our core competency and technical knowledge of ESG and through continuous investment in our understanding of technology platforms (SaaS). Supported by strategic thinking and a ‘close to market’ understanding, our ESG offerings help our clients improve their ESG performance, compliance and disclosure, whilst reducing costs and risks.

If you have been thinking about your ESG journey or NetZero commitments then get in touch with us to access affordable, efficient, knowledgeable expertise and solutions.

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