ESG on the Clock: What does an ESG team look like? Pt. 1
ESG on the Clock is designed for those starting their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) journey.
In episode two part one of ESG on the Clock, Russell Dover, Senior Solutions Engineer at Workiva, explains how companies that are looking to start ESG reporting should select a leader for their initiative. He also describes the importance of creating a cross-functional ESG committee with the necessary skills for a successful ESG practice.
S1 Episode 2 Pt. 1: What does an ESG team look like? | Transcript
With the number of companies looking to start environmental, social, and governance reporting, you may be wondering who should be involved and who should lead the initiative.
One place to start is to take stock of where you are today and what's driving your business to build an ESG strategy. Chances are your organization already has teams that deal with governance, transparency, ethical business practices. Perhaps you don't have a full-time ESG leader or team. If you don't, this episode is designed for you.
Many organizations starting their ESG journey are leveraging existing team members with competencies necessary for a successful ESG practice. First, keep in mind prime motivations that you have to further develop your ESG efforts. If, for example, prime motivation is investor ratings, it may make sense for your investor relations team to lead the effort. If you're looking to strengthen data integrity or external compliance, then your legal or financial reporting teams are natural choices. Once you've identified that team or role to lead the charge, you're likely to want to fill out an ESG committee that will be cross-functional in nature.
Think about it. It will certainly have teams that are working on social issues like employee engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion, labor relations, philanthropy, community relations. You may also have some environmental data held by facilities or engineering teams around your waste, water, and energy usage. Publicly traded companies in particular will have done considerable work already on corporate governance, so your organization won't be starting from scratch.
How it all comes together is something that we'll address in part two of this episode, where we'll also tackle whether you actually need an individual with a formal title—head of ESG. Stay tuned for part two.