The topic of ESG has been simmering for years now. Given the EU ESG Reporting deadline of March 10, 2021 is just weeks away, you’ve only got a little time left to make sure you are compliant – and we hope you’re well on top of it.
Of course, if you don’t want to market into the EU, this deadline doesn’t mean much. But… Considering how important ESG is becoming across the world, it’s only a matter of time until other countries follow the EU’s lead. In fact, ESG reporting is well underway around the globe as best practice, though not yet officially legislated.
As you know, ESG stands for Environmental, Social and corporate Governance and it incorporates many different variables to evaluate the sustainability of an investment. These variables go far beyond business viability or expected profit. ESG is, above all, multi-faceted, multi-environmental and multi-dimensional. It encompasses all kinds of factors; waste, pollution, emissions, energy use, human talent management, diversity, well-being, management practices, governance, tax strategies, etc. ESG takes a holistic view.
So what do you need to report, and where?
Unfortunately, the EUs specifics are few.
Whatever you report, you must be consistent. If you report something once, be prepared to report on that same issue again.
Definitely publish an ESG report on your website and in your marketing materials. It’s even recommended to include an ESG report in your Financial Statements.
A few things you could report:
- Carbon Footprint: Given the EU has pledged to be zero-emissions by 2050, what is your emissions rating? What’s your plan to improve it?
- Governance: AML and anti-corruption policies, tax compliance, lobbying policy, sustainability goals and milestones.
- Social policies: non-discrimination, diversity, work/life balance, staff development programs, charities supported, gender ratios, equal pay.
- Resources: water, energy, pollution, waste, recycling.
There is guidance available to help you decide what to report.
The more you report, the better and more ESG conscious you prove your business to be.