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Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Initiatives: 4 Resources for Businesses

September 07, 2023

Let’s dive into some simple resources for a reliable and strong foundation in Environmental, Social, and Governance integration for companies.

Whether you are beginning your journey discovering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics or are looking to further integrate ESG topics into your overall business strategy, there are many resources out there and it can be a bit overwhelming knowing what is most important. In this blog we outline four key resources to help businesses begin or continue to integrate ESG into their company.

1. AICPA Key Actions for Establishing Effective Governance Over ESG Reporting Document: In this document, the American Institute of CPAs and Center for Audit Quality have teamed up to provide insight into key actions companies can take to establish effective governance over ESG reporting. This document, written in simple terms, is highly useful in outlining steps companies should take.

  • Tip: Start with this document to set the foundation and specific steps to be taken to be successful in your ESG journey before jumping to the following resources.

2. Guidance for Applying Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG): This document is a comprehensive publication by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The guidance and information within are specifically designed to help those charged with risk management and sustainability practitioners apply ERM concepts and processes to ESG-related risks.

  • Tip: Once a foundation for ESG is established, use this document to assist in integrating what may be material ESG topics to your operations and management. We personally like the survey on page 10 which addresses whether your entity is ready for the ESG-related risks of today and tomorrow as a helpful tool to work through with Boards and Management at various organizations.

3. Return on Sustainability Investment (ROSI) Workbooks: These hands-on excel-based workbooks walk through a variety of examples to determine what information is needed to calculate the return on investment in ESG initiatives. These workbooks work best once a company knows what material topics are most important to them.

  • Tip: Once material topics are identified and you begin to implement these into your overall operations, these workbooks will help put specific quantitative and monetary metrics to identified topics so that they can be measured and tracked on a regular basis. In going through this, know that information available to complete these may not be something that your company currently tracks perfectly. We suggest beginning with estimates and use as tool to understand how to get more complete and accurate information to improve this process.

4. The Role of Auditors in Company Prepared ESG Information: Present and Future: Although this Center for Audit Quality publication primarily outlines how investors are using ESG information and the evolving, more prominent role of auditors in advancing the reliability, comparability, and relevance of this reporting, the document also includes a section on ESG Considerations and Questions for Boards.

  • Tip: Your CPA can do so much more than just audit information produced by the Company. Engage your CPA or auditor as soon as possible whether you are beginning your journey or already disclosing information to your stakeholders. By introducing them during the earlier stages, they can provide useful independent advice in moving through each of the steps to increase successful implementation.

These publications were all created with the intention of building a library of resources to educate and promote the integration of ESG into business operations as well as to build long-term value while not compromising the environmental and social resources upon which business is built.

Here at KLR, we are here to help you integrate an Environmental, Social and Governance lens when making operational decisions and thinking about your future plans. We are happy to explore any and all of these resources with you. Contact us to learn more.

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