What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason talks about the importance of ESG in relation, to data science and how it ties into overall business strategy.

ESG, (Environmental, Social and Governance), is a term that has been around for some time, but many people are still unclear on what it really means. The idea behind this acronym is to measure how companies are performing in all areas of their business, from the environment to governance policies.

This information can be used by investors to make decisions about where they want to put their money, or if they want to continue investing with a certain company. ESG isn’t just about measuring whether a company pollutes though; there are other factors that go into establishing if an organisation’s practices have “good” ESG standards, such as diversity initiatives and environmental impact transparency reports.

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One Big Message

The prevalence of ESG as a concept and term across the business landscape is growing and making its way to the forefront of business strategies across private organisations, public sector and the third sector. Therefore it is fast becoming a critical component of a data strategy and its important for those in charge of that strategy to better equip themselves and their organisations with the understanding, data and insight needed to meet ESG needs and obligations.” Something like that is a better ‘one big message.

[01:30] Statistics around ESG

[02:15] What ESG is starting with the ‘environmental’ in ESG

[02:52] Looking at the the ‘social’ in ESG

[03:29] What ‘governance’ is in ESG

[03:55] How ESG fits into the world of data

[5:40] Issues with ESG data and steps you can take to avoid common pitfalls


What is ESG?

The term ESG stands for “environmental, social and governance”. It’s an investment methodology that takes into account the environmental, social and corporate governance factors of a company when deciding to invest in it. The goal of this type of investing is to help reduce negative effects on society as a whole, whilst increasing positive results for all stakeholders involved with a company.

One way investors use ESG analysis is by selecting companies with strong values, or those who have been recognised by industry associations for their efforts in protection of the environment or promotion of sustainability initiatives. This can be done through screening processes that examine potential investments based on

  • their environmental performance,
  • actions taken to address climate change,
  • dialogue with local communities
  • other aspects of corporate responsibility, such as diversity policies and employee relations.


Why ESG needs to be a part of business strategy

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues are not new to the world. They’ve been around for decades and they will be with us into the future. ESG is an integral part of business strategy that should be considered in all aspects of how a company does business.

ESG refers to how a company is governed ethically and with integrity in the areas of environment (including climate change), social justice (including labour rights) and financial transparency. With this heightened importance comes an increase in the number of companies that need to report on their ESG efforts. Businesses now use ESG as part of their business model to understand what they are doing, and their impact on the world, so they can better communicate it with investors, shareholders and customers alike.


Collecting data for ESG

Companies that are committed to environmental sustainability and social responsibility often overlook the importance of data collection in support of it. Data is necessary to measure progress, identify opportunities for improvement, and create a strategy. It can also be used to predict what will happen in the future, which is especially important when it comes to climate change.

The need for accurate data has increased with recent legislation all over the world such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) so businesses can ensure they comply with their responsibilities under these laws.

Unfortunately, collecting data for ESG strategies can become quite complex as the information required may span over many different departments and roles throughout a large organisation.

Data collection for ESG’s require extremely detailed strategies and pipelines to enable the collection of accurate information when it comes to collection and analysis. Be as specific as possible with what you are measuring, and have clarity on what data needs to be collected – it will help provide a stable framework to build upon.


To summarise

Businesses should be aware of their impact not just on the environment, but also on their community. Having an ESG in place helps with the preservation of our planet by helping businesses do their part in mitigating any potential disasters that may occur from climate change or other social issues. It also allows businesses to examine its social impact and the value it brings to people outside its day to day operations.

By implementing an ESG strategy, companies can take greater responsibility for their effect on the planet, and use data to objectively monitor key metrics.

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