I think any business not considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in its future growth strategy, at a time of such due focus on climate change and social value, does so at its peril.
Fundamentally we must all agree that businesses have an ethical responsibility towards making a positive impact, both environmentally and socially, and that this endeavour starts with good governance.
Self-reflection is an important tool in any business strategy and as we look ahead to 2022, we are evaluating our company against ESG criteria to understand how we can meet those fundamental responsibilities and continue to best serve both internal and external stakeholders.
We’re asking the questions that a focus on ESG naturally engenders; Is there real diversity in our workforce at every level? How do we best support and promote the physical and mental health of our employees? Do our HR policies ensure compliance with equal opportunity and ensure fair wages and working conditions? How does the company use natural resources and what is our carbon footprint?
We’ve long been invested in creating a diverse workforce and continue to work to ensure our equality & diversity policies are up to date and relevant. We monitor pay and ensure we offer above-market average rates. We provide an Employee Assistance Programme to each team member, with access to free counselling, financial, legal and health advice. We’re setting up a Cycle to Work scheme and are looking to increase the practical ways in which we reward our staff.
One might wonder why a case management company not involved in activity that creates significant pollution and is subject to no government environmental regulations, should overly concern themselves with this aspect of an ESG strategy. However, I think it’s this attitude of ‘we’re not that bad, comparatively’ that must change. We simply all need to be taking responsibility for the things we can.
That’s why we’re switching our company cars to electric ones. It’s why we’ve moved to a paperless, cloud-based recording system both for our Case Management and Care Teams and why, instead of reverting to face-to-face meetings post-lockdown as per usual practice, we continue to utilise online video conferencing, where appropriate, thus significantly reducing travel. There’s still more to be done and we’re actively seeking local environmental and social causes to lend our corporate support to.
A strong ESG strategy is not just good for the wellbeing of the planet, our staff and the wider community; it also makes good business sense. It’s increasingly used by investors when considering where to invest. Conserving energy helps to reduce overheads. Creating a diverse team where physical and mental wellbeing are a priority attracts talent, boosts morale and ultimately, productivity.
As we look ahead to the future, we need to be aware that social and environmental concerns will change. We must continue to evaluate our ESG policies and processes and be ready to adapt with those changes.