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Many companies have incorporated Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, and sustainability into their operations over the last decade. As we head toward 2023 the conversation around Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG is growing louder and pending SEC regulations prove it isn’t a passing trend.
ESG, CSR and sustainability are sometimes used interchangeably, however, they are not the same thing. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between the three and why they matter to businesses.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is a broader term that encompasses ESG criteria as well as a company’s overall commitment to sustainable development. This is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, it’s about meeting our current needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to do the same.
What is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility is qualitative and focuses heavily on ethics. It is the belief that businesses should integrate social and environmental concerns into their operations. Businesses can achieve this by adopting a triple bottom line approach, which balances economic growth with sustainability goals as well as legitimate expectations from all stakeholders involved–including investors who expect a return on equity.
What is ESG?
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards used by investors to evaluate companies’ performances in these three areas:
These criteria can be used to screen investments and assess risk. They can also be used to engage with companies on issues that are important to investors. Unlike CSR, ESG is quantitative and focuses on measurable goals.
Why Do ESG and Sustainability Matter?
Companies that focus on CSR, ESG and sustainability are often seen as more responsible and forward-thinking. They’re also more likely to attract millennials, who are increasingly interested in investing in companies that align with their values. Furthermore, studies have shown that companies with strong ESG practices tend to outperform those without them.
To sum it up, all organizations have a responsibility to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner. This encompasses social responsibility (CSR) programs that focus on giving back to society, as well as environmental sustainability initiatives aimed at reducing the organization’s ecological footprint.
Are you working to integrate ESG into your company? We can help spread the word about what you’re doing! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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