06 May 2022
Environmental Social Governance (ESG)
Attracting around 250 delegates to each annual event, including Senior SHE Managers, Heads of SHE and SHE Directors from cross-sectoral industries, the SHE Show is a key date in any forward-thinking organisation looking to embed and/or develop health and safety within their culture. ESG Consultant Katie Batchelor, one of this year’s Delta-Simons representatives at the April event, provides an insight into her experience.
The SHE Show North-East hosted its annual conference on the 26th and 27th of April. Delta-Simons had the privilege of exhibiting our services at the event and hearing some fantastic speakers who highlighted important subjects believed to be essential to embed into business. Topics included Sustainability, Creating Resilience, prioritising Mental Health and Wellbeing, Developing Leadership and Behaviour Change, plus updates on H&S regulation. Top Tips developed by the speakers can be found in the conference overview here, which we would really recommend looking over.
Embedding Sustainability Practice Into Business
The most poignant talk of the day came from Chris Hines, MBE, Co-founder of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a community dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife, and previous Director of the Eden Project, an educational charity and social enterprise on a mission to create a movement that builds relationships between people and the natural world to demonstrate the power of working together for the benefit of all living things.
Chris, who has worked and campaigned for the environment for 30 years and revels in inspiring positive change, discussed his perspectives on embedding sustainability practices into business. Speaking about his experiences in both his roles with SAS and the Eden Project, Chris highlighted the need to act now when it comes to supporting the Environment. He pointed out that if the Environment is not prioritised as a society we will increase the risk of financial instability, conflict and biodiversity loss to a point where it cannot be reversed.
Speaking further about these challenges, Chris pointed out the huge amount of influence Health, Safety and Environmental professionals have in making changes within business to improve Sustainability. These include:
- Measuring your direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1, 2 &3) - By calculating GHG emissions, your business can make changes to reduce emissions where possible. Chris encouraged listeners to look to set Science-Based-Targets, targets that show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement. This is an essential part of business practice that is becoming an expectation to investors and consumers.
- Understanding your scope of influence - Delta-Simons refer to this as Scope X. Chris highlighted the importance of considering how businesses can engage consumers and suppliers to educate and make changes to operations that support the environment.
- Focusing on a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach - The TBL approach asks companies to focus on people, planet and finance. By focusing on the planet, Chris was able to save the Eden project over £20,000 in the purchase of cardboard. Ultimately, by reducing waste the business was able to save money.
Listening to the speakers and continuing these conversations outside of the talks with delegates reemphasised the importance of prioritising Environmental Social Governance (ESG) in business.
What is ESG and why is it business-critical?
ESG is taking on an increasingly greater significance with the growing alertness and demand for action amongst consumers; highlighting the responsibility, commitment and action needed to accomplish positive climate action and build a more sustainable, resilient future.
ESG reflects a company’s commitment to include environmentally conscious business practices in tandem with robust social responsibility and corporate governance.
ESG issues are playing an increasing role in companies’ decisions around mergers, acquisitions, and development. Companies are accountable to their various stakeholders like investors, customers, employees, and government organizations that want to evaluate a company’s impact on the world. Accordingly, companies must provide an overview of their ESG risks and opportunities as well as the approach in mitigating or adapting to these risks along with financial implications.
It is no longer a "nice to have" framework or a distant future goal. The transparency on sustainable and socially responsible practices is crucial to the survival of companies moving forward as external audiences, key stakeholders and financial communities focus on how companies are making progress with ESG goals.
This was echoed in Chris Hines’ talk which emphasised that by focusing on people and the environment, the services and products you offer will thrive.
Thanks to the SHE Show for having us and giving us an opportunity to connect with a wide variety of industries. It was great to be surrounded by like-minded professionals looking to improve health Safety and the Environment. We look forward to attending the upcoming South SHE and North West SHE Shows.
About the Author
Delta-Simons’ ESG Consultant Katie Batchelor focuses on Environmental Social Governance (ESG). Katie has been a key member of the Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) division of Delta-Simons and focuses on supporting clients to develop their ESG strategy aligned to key frameworks. During the past two years, Katie has supported Delta-Simons to create an approach to benchmarking ESG within Real-Estate and corporate settings as well as managing a partnership with Black Geographers, a community interest group a community aimed at tackling the lack of representation of Black people within geography and the environmental sector.
Be proactive and start integrating ESG and sustainability initiatives into your business growth strategy today. Contact Katie Batchelor for more information about ESG services: