Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting can give your business a competitive advantage, help attract and retain the best talent, and slash operating expenses.
ESG refers to a set of standards companies can use to assess their operational performance as it concerns social and environmental impact. On the environmental side, businesses must assess if they negatively impact the environment or have sustainable practices. On the social side, companies must weigh how they interact with workers, clients, suppliers, and their respective communities. And on the governance side, companies must focus on leadership, internal controls and audits, board governance, and executive compensation.
Having a good understanding of ESG meaning is essential if you want to get ahead in today’s business environment and develop a quality sustainability reporting strategy.
But what specific benefits can your business get through ESG reporting? Here are three benefits.
1. Entice More Consumers
According to a PWC study, 83% of consumers believe businesses should be proactively working on achieving ESG best practices. Consumers are eager to see companies play a more meaningful role in fast-tracking progress on ESG issues like carbon-emissions or waste management. In fact, consumers acknowledge they’ll reward businesses for doing so.
A concise ESG reporting framework is one example where sustainability reporting can translate into attracting more customers. People are looking for ways to become better stewards of the environment, and want to align with like-minded businesses. Consumers will pay attention when your business uses the right ESG reporting software to disclose performance on concepts like green-energy initiatives. Customers will want to know how these sustainability-related issues inform your company’s business strategy and overall performance.
2. Hire and Hold Onto Top Talent
Another benefit of ESG reporting is that it can help to attract — and retain — top talent. The Great Resignation saw around 50.5 million people quit their jobs last year. It was part of a pandemic-era trend where many people simply felt like the grass was greener elsewhere.
You might be surprised to learn about the connection between employee satisfaction and employers that take ESG seriously. According to one source, top employers, as determined by worker satisfaction, have average ESG scores that are 14% higher than the worldwide average. Satisfied workers tend to work harder, stick around longer, and strive to produce better results for their employers. The same study adds that businesses that are most attractive to students and young professionals have ESG scores 25% higher than the worldwide average.
When considering the cost of replacing a single worker can range from one-half to two times the worker’s annual salary, you can appreciate the importance of finding and holding onto the right talent. Something like ESG & sustainability reporting can give your business a competitive advantage that attracts the best talent and increases employee retention.
3. Lessen Operational Expenses
One of the benefits of reducing your company’s carbon footprint is there’ll be a corresponding reduction in operational expenses. Your business’ carbon footprint refers to the complete tally of greenhouse gases generated by your company, which includes your employees and your operations. You can do many things to lower your company’s carbon footprint. You can right-size your workforce, optimize routes for fleet vehicles, and cut down on in-person meetings. The more you reduce your business’ carbon footprint, the lower you can cut your operational costs.
A good ESG reporting platform will give you the insights you need to implement meaningful changes, right when you need them. Considering that the standards for ESG reporting continue to evolve over time, you’ll also want to ensure you have a reporting platform that seamlessly incorporates changes as they occur, like Workiva’s cloud-reporting solution which creates audit-ready, investor-trusted ESG reporting. Using a cloud reporting solution is the only way you can ensure your data is always compliant and up to date.
Start Reporting on Sustainability Today
ESG reporting is essential. If you’re a publicly listed company, there are ESG reporting requirements to be mindful of. But any business that wants to remain competitive and relevant ought to take ESG reporting seriously by developing a sustainability reporting strategy.
The consumers you rely on want to see ESG reporting disclosures from the businesses they patronize. The only real question for your business is which ESG reporting software to get. Don’t simply select the first one you find, there may be a sustainability reporting solution that can benefit your entire team and will effectively engage your stakeholders. Do some research to find out what’s out there so you can make an informed decision.