ESG has recently come to refer to the ethical considerations that a company makes. While this may seem like a straightforward concept, there’s a lot that goes into developing a strong ESG policy. Today, companies are held under closer scrutiny than ever when it comes to their business practices. This includes everyday human elements, like safe working conditions and fair pay, as well as greater factors like environmental impact and social responsibility. Having a solid ESG policy in place is crucial for any company looking to thrive in today’s plugged-in, socially-conscious world.
Let’s start with the basics. As an acronym, the ESG in “ESG strategy” stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance.” While this can mean slightly different things in different contexts, for most organizations, their ESG policy is a guide for the ethical calls that go into all business decisions. Each of these three categories covers a general area of consideration and can encompass any specific factors that are relevant to that company.
As you might expect, “Environmental” typically refers to how mindful an organization is of its impact on the environment. This includes things like sustainability, resource depletion, pollution, and climate change. Companies that rank well take measures like powering their facilities with renewable power sources, going paperless, and reusing or recycling any extra equipment or byproducts. Other environmental initiatives can include taking proactive measures, like investing in environmentally-friendly partners and planting trees.
Social considerations encompass how companies interact with the humans on whom they have an impact. This includes their employees, overseas partners and suppliers, and the local communities where they operate. To be considered socially responsible, things like fair pay, diversity, and positive relationships with community leaders all play roles. Likewise, donating to human-focused nonprofits is considered a bonus.
Governance is the most nebulous of these areas, but a crucial one for any organization looking to maintain a positive ESG policy. Governance considerations include transparency, corporate pay and oversight, political affiliations, and leadership accountability. Having a clear, comprehensible mission and values statement is also crucial, and, ipso facto, an airtight ESG policy is critical to ethical governance.
In the past, there was little scrutiny of the way companies operated, and attention was generally only paid to products and pricing. Today, however, we’re tracking more and more information about organizations. Perhaps because of this, more space in the public consciousness is devoted to ethical business practices than ever before.
While some organizations attempt to ignore what they perceive as a passing internet fad, leaders in every industry recognize that government policy and consumer attitudes alike are paying more mind to the way they are run — demanding accountability.
While some of the ESG considerations we earlier above are dictated by government policy, there is still a lot of room for establishing a positive and impactful ESG strategy unique to your company. Finding ESG policies that work for your business can set you apart as a true leader. This is especially beneficial as a differentiator for companies up against stiff competition in the marketplace.
To get started, here are three basic steps to take to develop your organization’s ideal ESG policy.
Before you can decide what new direction you want to head in, you need to take stock of your current business model. What are your strong points, and where do you stand to gain by putting in extra care? This also provides you with a great opportunity to assess your business’s overall efficiency.
Once you have a sense of how your company is doing, you can focus on what you want to emphasize and what you want to improve. In addition to highlighting strengths and addressing challenges, it’s vital to be honest about what your company can achieve. Keep your goals firmly rooted in reality and outlined by the ethical principles guiding you.
Armed with the information you need and a plan for change, it’s then essential to actually execute. Many corporate ESG strategies get mired down with flowery language and idealized goals and never make meaningful changes. Your ESG policy should be focused squarely on ensuring that your organization holds up to scrutiny of its business practices and environmental impact.
As we mentioned above, some elements of business practice are mandated by law. Workplace safety, for example, is governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which sets out guidelines for ensuring that employees are not exposed to undue risk on the job.
Other considerations, like pay, are a combination of government policy and market standards. While the majority of skilled jobs make significantly more than federal or state minimum wage, industry norms and competitors’ compensation packages are often deciding factors in a business’ pay scale.
Going above and beyond the norms set by other companies in your industry may be seen as expensive in some of these areas. But one category that offers a lot of potential for getting ahead is eco-friendliness. Not every company is positioned to plant trees or switch completely over to green energy, but the recycling and the safe disposal of unused equipment and electronics can help you embrace environmental sustainability and even turn into a new stream of revenue.
For instance, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is the practice of reusing, recycling, or disposing of unused electronic devices. Unlike some other manners of recycling, which are only applicable to certain types of business, every company in the modern world utilizes electronics in their daily running. Thus, you’re sure to have an opening to include ITAD as part of your ESG strategy.
When executing your ESG policy, working with an experienced ITAD partner can make all the difference. The right partner can not only ensure that your unused IT assets are disposed of in safe, legal ways, but they can also make the most of the parts you give them, optimizing prices and return for your company.
When it comes to choosing the right ITAD strategy, First America Metal Corporation (FAMCe) has you covered. We have been a world leader in electronics and metal scrap recycling and non-ferrous export for over 15 years. Our team has over 30 years of experience in reusing and recycling metal commodities, and we are known as one of the top five metal exporters in the entire Midwest.
FAMCe specializes in creating innovative, greener solutions for businesses that want transparent and environmentally-friendly methods of reusing and recycling electronic scrap, high-temperature alloys, and non-ferrous scrap. Our level of expertise, unparalleled customer service, and aggressive pricing make FAMCe the leading option for almost any recycling need.
Learn more and get in touch with us at famce.net.