How to write a concise ESG policy

How to write a concise ESG policy

An ESG policy brings together and clearly promotes your environmental, social and governance activities for all your stakeholders.

So how do you write an ESG policy?

This is a question we get asked regularly because the term ESG seems daunting, something that the financial sector owns. Business owners may not necessarily understand the context within their own organisation.

Let’s clarify – ESG is simply an acronym for Environmental, Social & Governance framework. It can be used by every single business, big or small, as an approach for developing, managing, and reporting on its social and environmental impact.

And why should a business do this? Well, there are tons of benefits, but that is a whole other blog.

The main reason is that it supports a business in structuring and formalising its ethical activities. And this will support the future sustainability of that business together with supporting society and the planet.

An ESG policy helps a business to clearly state how it will support society and the planet by using its business as a platform and workforce to achieve its goals and targets.

So, where do you start?

It starts with clarity around what is already being carried out and achieved within a business that addresses positive social and environmental impacts.

It then categorises the activities, initiatives, and practices as social, environmental or governance. Quite often, activities will span more than one area. Once completed, it is about identifying the areas lacking particular focus and building activities to fill the gaps.

A policy can now be structured to include the following:

 Headline statement – this is the business committing to and making a promise to its stakeholders about its desired outcome.

Scope – setting boundaries and speaking to the audience that will be impacted by the outcomes

Commitments – this is a list of the outcomes for each area of ESG

Objectives & Targets – here, you will include statements about how you will achieve a successful outcome. It is advised to include details about the UNSDG’s in this section, aligning the goals with the proposed activities.

 Implementation – how you will action the commitments to achieve the outcomes

Reporting – this is about how you will collect evidence to support your reporting outcomes and how this will be shared with your stakeholders.

Final statement – a message from the leadership of the business, including a signature and a review date.

Hopefully, the above helps you to get started with your ESG policy. If you need further support, why not download our example policy to support you in getting started?

And if you would like to discuss your policy, contact Be Ethical Training direct to set up a 15-minute exploration call.  You can then understand how we work with companies to develop their policies and strategies around positive social and environmental impact outcomes.

Simply complete this form to receive your free example policy.