What is an ESG report? Does my company need one? If so, where do we start? What do we include?
First off, a huge shout out to our Millie customers who started the conversation around ESG reports! If you are working in the social impact space, ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) is already an intricate part of your company’s mission. An ESG report is a great way to highlight your company’s impact, tell your brand story, and a great opportunity for purpose planning for the future.
We sat down with industry experts to answer all your burning questions about ESG reports. Join special guests Rebecca Leonard, Managing Principal of Purposeful Projects Group, and Amy Wendel, Senior Director and Global Head of Corporate Responsibility & ESG at GoTo. Amy and Rebecca were joined by Rachel Klausner, founder of Millie, who moderated the webinar.
What to Expect
A huge thank you to Rebecca Leonard, who highlights three great takeaways from the webinar below.
3 Questions Asked and Answered by Rebecca Leonard
How should a company decide whether or not to publish an ESG report?
Other than regulation, the biggest consideration is what stakeholders expect from you. Once you understand what is expected, you can decide if a report is the right way to communicate.
- Are clients asking questions about your ESG-related practices?
- Do your investors/ potential investors consider your ESG performance?
- Are employees/ prospective employees asking about ESG – climate, DEI, training, human rights, etc.?
- Do your consumers care about ESG issues and are they making purchasing decisions in part based on them?
- Do your competitors report? Are there pressing ESG-related issues in your industry?
If you are gathering the data for any combination of these stakeholders, you might consider leveraging that effort with a report to communicate your progress on important issues.
What needs to be done before thinking about starting a first report?
Five (not easy, but critical) Pre-Report Steps:
- Identify material issues and prioritize them
- Identify goals for reporting – investor relations, employee engagement, brand reputation, etc.
- Perform a current state assessment to understand what information you have regarding material issues
- Perform a peer/ industry disclosure benchmark to understand where you stand
- Develop a reporting strategy – for your first report and a roadmap for where you want to go from there
What are some alternatives to an ESG report if our company isn’t quite ready?
There are a number of great ways to communicate your ESG efforts. Infographics, impact reports, website pages, social media, leader town halls, employee comms, brand communications and marketing, recruiting brochures, investor days, and more.
You can also check out our blog, 10 Sample ESG reports, where you can find some amazing resources, including Amy Wendel’s first ESG report for GoTo. These examples are a great starting point to get some great ideas for your report framework.