Crafting A Profitable ESG Message & Strategy

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Environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies are an essential metric for companies across industries to build not only equitable companies, but ones that are more attractive to investors, partners, and stakeholders.

In this episode of E2B, Amy Stutzman, Managing Director, and Reid Brooks, Director, in Opportune LLP’s Complex Financial Reporting practice, share their insights on how companies can get started crafting an effective ESG message and why it’s important for driving long-term performance and investment.

They speak to host Daniel Litwin about how companies can maneuver the challenges of changing standards and the conflicts of balancing corporate governance and sustainability guidelines while maximizing growth and profitability.

Stutzman says that when working with clients on planning a winning ESG strategy and message, it’s important to look at how sustainability drives long-term performance.

“We would look at how ESG is already integrated into the business and existing metrics because, in oil and gas, we find there are already many sustainability initiatives ingrained in the business strategy and the culture,” Stutzman says.

Stutzman and Brooks believe most companies are working to strengthen their ESG goals and create best practices in reporting those efforts.

“There’s a lot of activity right now with leaders working together on this,” Stutzman says. “There are some industry groups, such as the Energy Infrastructure Council, as well as the Energy Workforce and Technology Council, and both have working groups specifically devoted to ESG and providing guidance and resources such as reporting templates to their members.”

Brooks adds that measuring the success of an ESG strategy isn’t standardized, but still tangible. Companies that prioritize ESG plans will see the impacts over time.

“As long as a company is making meaningful progress, measurable progress, I think that’s key,” Brooks says. “If a company can address ‘the 20%’ then that will begin moving the needle in the right direction and act as a catalyst and create synergies in other areas.”

Additionally, companies can use existing frameworks that are currently available, Brooks says, such as those from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosed (TCFD) and others, to create a report that provides meaningful information to its various stakeholders.

“Every company is different and will need to prioritize different items based on their specific business,” Brooks adds.

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