"The topics within the purview of ESG metrics are incredibly important. They’re legitimate prompts for business operations and will continue to impact performance and future prospects."
Gleaned from my email today from Directors & Boards a great resourse.
When it comes to the title question, you could have a variety of answers. And one of those answers could very well be, “What are you talking about? ESG is very much alive.” But Nir Kossovsky, CEO of Steel City Re and a former Los Angeles County deputy coroner, believes the movement died as a result of what he calls “Toxic Label Syndrome.”
According to Kossovsky, “ESG’s abandonment was preceded by a conflict between ambiguous moral priorities and unambiguous financial priorities, becoming progressively toxic and dysfunctional and precipitating its downfall from the communications lexicon.”
Kossovsky’s piece “What Killed ESG?” is certainly one man’s opinion. What’s yours? Do you agree with Kossovsky that ESG has moved past mere backlash and has now officially flatlined? Or do you believe that rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated and that its principles are still a major force in the boardroom? Maybe you think, as we have heard from several directors, that the term ESG has become a trigger term and that its organizing principles could simply use a new name (or no name at all)? We would love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Received this email this morning and as normal it gets me thinking, what are we doing at Brock Shores Financial ? How are we #ImprovingFutures ? How are our actions lining up with our Vision, Mission and Core Values ?
One thing that we do is research and become aware of the issues and work towards putting sustainable practices in our business and life. A great resource for me has been my membership in RIA Responsible Investment Association https://www.riacanada.ca/timothy-ross/
I would love to read what you are doing to make a difference in your life, home, community, please join our online community and share your reflections in the comment section , your Utmost For Your Highest
In the meantime, let's read what Coro Stranberg has to say about the matter.
Have a blessed day
Timothy Ross, Founder Brock Shores Financial
Coro Strandberg works with businesses, government and industry associations to envision and innovate a sustainable future. She is an expert on sustainability leadership and transformational business practices and relationships.
"Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm. It's about doing more good."
Jochen Zeitz (Co-founder and co-chair of the B Team and past CEO of PUMA)
I’ve been thinking about the word “good” and how it shows up in our language in countless idioms: For goodness sake. All to the good. Good and ready. Goodwill. For good reason. Good company. And so on. In my work, good – when turned into action – means sustainable businesses that change everything for the better.
Growing global resource constraints – coupled with changing customer, investor, and government expectations – will drive companies to change the way they do business. In this newsletter, I bring you up-to-date on sustainability tools, trends, tips and trailblazers that can help you and your organization become a force for social good. Whether your organization needs a kickstart or it’s leading the way with transformational business practices, you’ll find lots of good news here.
2018 is trending as the watershed year when boards began to actively improve their oversight of the company’s social and environmental performance. Regardless of whether the impetus was scandals, investors, social movements, employees or consumers, more and more boards are taking their fiduciary responsibilities in this area seriously. Fortunately, there is considerable guidance in this new governance practice.
This spring I started teaching the Sustainable Board module for the new Governance Professionals of Canada certification program. The course provides a practical look at board sustainability oversight for governance professionals who advise boards and management on sustainability governance. This will equip corporate directors and executives with greater insight on how to steward the sustainable performance of the firm. Corporate governance leaders also have a sustainable board roadmap in a recently published white paper I authored on the topic for Conference Board of Canada. It's an update on the trends and drivers of sustainability governance that have emerged since the first paper I wrote on the subject in 2008, and provides a sustainability toolkit for boards and those who advise them. Check it out and share these resources with the boards and governance professionals you know.
Business Models for Good
Boards for Good are responsible for ensuring their business has a core social purpose as its engine for growth and goodwill. Businesses are defining and articulating their humanitarian reason for being. The United Way of the Lower Mainland is a leader in this global trend and in so doing, pivoting its corporate donor relationships. This spring I helped the United Way launch its Social Purpose Institute, growing business for good in Greater Vancouver and beyond. Uniquely, the Institute’s vision is to partner with cities, boards of trade and others to raise awareness of this business opportunity and build the regional capacity for social purpose business. In this way, business will bring all its assets, not simply its donations to community good.
Leveraging University Assets for Good
This trend towards leveraging assets for good is taking off in the public sector, too. To advance the widely acclaimed white paper I wrote for McConnell Foundation and SFU on "Maximizing the Capacities of Advanced Education Institutions to Build Social Infrastructure for Canadian Communities" published in 2017, I have been helping the McConnell Foundation and the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) scale social purpose administration and finance among administrative departments at Canadian universities and colleges, info here. The basic premise is that public institutions can bring all their assets and instruments (in addition to teaching and research) to advance societal well-being by applying a social, environmental, community or stakeholder lens to decision-making, budgets and projects. University administrators are finding new purpose and meaning in their jobs from this shift. According to one front line university staff member: "This [social purpose administration] is a new way of working. As administrators who spend our careers in our institution, we can see a tie to our organization. It is also tied to the place where you live. It is another use of your job. It gives me meaning in my day."
Professionals for Good
Not only are governance professionals and university administrators social-purposing their jobs, so too are other professionals looking to build more social value into everyday roles. Since the launch of the Sustainable Professional Association Initiative with The Natural Step, I have had the pleasure of advising associations representing human resources and governance professionals. Current work involves a project for the Real Estate Foundation of BC to define a professional development pathway to build sustainability expertise among realtors. Watch this space for the research paper in early 2019.
This work has me thinking about the "Purposeful Professional": I believe that purpose-driven companies and organizations are creating room for professionals to hone their personal purpose and bring it to work.
Products for Good
Organizations-for-good offer products-for-good. While not easy to go the distance, it can be done as described in this Conference Board of Canada resource I wrote on the topic. Notably, leaders like Marks and Spencer, BASF and LafargeHolcim are setting ambitious targets to reposition their product portfolios in alignment with a sustainable future. This Sustainable Brands article profiles these opportunities. For more detailed guidance, check out the Conference Board paper.
Advocacy for Good
Having a business model, professionals and products for good doesn’t guarantee a sustainable future. We also need government leadership to re-engineer policy, legislation and regulation so that fair, inclusive, low-carbon and circular growth can be enabled. Fortunately, more and more businesses are engaging in the public policy debate, as for-good advocates. This GreenBiz article unpacks this trend and drivers, while this tool offers an "advocacy for good" continuum, from oppositional to transformational practices. Check it out to see where your organization lies. Then engage your government and industry relations teams in how they can bring purpose and meaning to their jobs through a proactive sustainable public policy agenda.
That’s the goods for this newsletter. I always appreciate hearing from my readers. Don't hesitate to contact me for questions, clarifications or additional resources. Thanks for reading. Goodbye for now!
Good for you
Corporate Sustainability Practitioners: Roles have changed, has your job description?
November 15, 2018 at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 PM EDT
This one-hour, low-cost webinar will discuss how the corporate responsibility practitioner role is becoming more strategic, enterprise-wide, and external. You’ll pick up insights on how the jobs, roles, and departments of CSR and sustainability practitioners are adjusting to meet the new imperatives. More information.
Phoenix Arizona, Feb. 26 – 28, 2019
I hope to see you at GreenBiz 2019, the Premier Annual Event for Sustainable Business Leaders. I will be moderating a session on "What every sustainability professional should know about board sustainability governance," with investors, corporate directors and sustainability professionals represented on the business panel. You’re guaranteed a thought-provoking and practical session. More information.
A picture is worth a thousand words, video's will multiple that , check out her Webinar Library