ESG Investing

and the sustainable decisions you might need to make for your business

Mars CFO Claus Aagaard and Salesforce CFO Emeritus Advisor Mark Hawkins joined Yahoo Finance to discuss environmental social and governance investing and how to measure it.

If you’ve ever heard the expression money makes the world go round, nothing shows this more true than the climate topic. Analytics and business go hand and hand, especially when it comes to gauging what customers want. One of the hottest topics in the past decade, or more, has been climate and social change, so regardless of your own personal opinion, money talks. If your company or business does not have its ear to the streets, and learns how your customer feel about their environment, and what you’re doing to it, it can not only cost you customers, but it might cost you investors as well

What is ESG

Environmental, social, and corporate governance are three factors that are being measured when investors determine your sustainability, your social impact internally and externally, and your corporate structure. Basically it’s like a modern corporate clout scale, and if you don’t measure up, then the fat that might be getting trimmed, might be coming from your bottom line.

Environmental: When looking at environmental, investors might want to know about your trash and recycle programs, how do you sustainably give back to your community, or at very least control your carbon footprint. How do you control your resources like energy and water usage, or even what materials are needed to make your products.

Social: What are your clients saying about you? What are your employees saying about you? What are your customers saying about you?! What’s the media saying about you?! getting my point? How are your employees being trained to deal with clients and customers? What kind of environment are you creating for your employees, and are they trained to create the right atmosphere for your customers and those living in your communities. For example a big topic here could be how your company handled Covid or will handle pandemic situations in the future?

Governance: How well is your company being ran from the top down? Is their corruption? What is your shareholders impact on what your business mindset is and what’s your brand becoming, and how diverse is your company?

Theses times we are now living in are times of outspokenness, and challenging the status quo. The strive towards change is not only impacting our lifestyles, but the way spend our money, which in turn impacts the way money is now being invested.

How are investors making risk decisions

Companies are now including ESG reports in their quarterly and annual reporting, releasing what they have done to reduce their carbon footprint, minimize energy usage, and downsize utility spending. Things like employee hiring, growth, and turn over can now easily be analyzed. How wages measure up vs industry standards. Some brands are using self reporting polls from companies like Survey Monkey to get an anonymous and honest assessment from their employees. And most direct and accessible to us, are online survey reviews, and google reviews. ESG is doing all that it can to make your attitude a very measurable characteristic.

Watch this video created by the Plain Bagel to get a better understanding of E.S.G and it’s pro’s and Cons.

What are some focus points.

  • Go green
  • Make sure you can properly market your carbon footprint to your customer base and investors.
  • Have a recruitment and training plan that focuses on diversity and equal opportunity employment
  • Try to compete with competitor wages and assure a fairly attainable growth ladder
  • Use anonymous surveys and embrace what your team is saying and feeling about your company
  • Be involved in your community
  • Don’t do it to do it, Do it to make a difference