An interview with Faith Goodman on Canada’s ESG Future– Challenges & Opportunities
Corporations are facing unprecedented disruption due to shifting stakeholder expectations. Pressing societal issues are now boardroom issues. In order to remain competitive, corporate leaders will eventually need to embrace transparent action on both ESG & Corporate Purpose as a necessary condition of being in business.
A global shift is redefining the contract between businesses and their communities from
simply “being responsible” to creating real social value. Consumers, investors and employees
increasingly expect firms to leverage corporate DNA – and address complex societal issues
through the adoption of Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) & Corporate Purpose
In a post-pandemic world, consumers won’t just accept brands at face value.
To succeed, companies must demonstrate their commitment to positive ESG practices that support corporate purpose—or risk failing
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, many companies are seeking to redefine themselves around both ESG and Corporate Social Purpose. They are taking on a new role as a positive, proactive force in tackling societal challenges, leading the drive to net zero
and championing sustainability.
For many years, the “social” in environmental, social and governance (ESG) discussions has taken a back seat to the other elements, but that subordinate role appears to be changing and directors are taking increased notice of the ‘S’ factor. Issues brought to the forefront by the recent pandemic, as well as the current civil unrest, have highlighted the need for directors to be prepared for the impact on their organizations of important social issues.
Canadian businesses have been quick to tap emergency government financing during the global pandemic. But their survival will be determined by more than cash flow. Corporate leaders accepting taxpayer money must also consider the needs of their employees, customers, communities and other stakeholders, or they will suffer in the marketplace longer term.
In the coming decade, we can expect to see more companies directing some of their resources and skills to helping solve societal problems. And as the idea of having a “social purpose” becomes
mainstream, the organizations that get it right will enjoy a competitive advantage over those that choose to ignore the trend or fail to employ it properly.