Impact Investing Forum
London. Nov 18-19. (Virtual)
ESG metrics: Smart, sustainable, reliable Daily CalifornianESG metrics: Smart, sustainable, reliable Daily CalifornianESG metrics: Smart, sustainable, reliable Daily Californian
Investors, regulators and employees are increasingly asking companies to manage their social and environmental impact. Capitalism must consider all its stakeholders, including the pandemic, rising income inequality, climate change, and racial inequalities. It is not clear how exactly to meet this growing demand. One thing is certain: Consumers are becoming more aware of the consequences of their shopping habits. Brands must share information about sustainability standards and practices that they are responsible for. This will increase customer loyalty and build consumer confidence.
The UC Berkeley School of Law offers a course that addresses today’s social and environmental issues. This program teaches you how to integrate environmental, social, and governance considerations into investment and business strategy.
ESGs (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) evaluate a company’s environmental and social impact. This provides companies with the knowledge, tools, and resources to be purpose-driven business leaders in their field.
It is important to examine how companies can harness crowd empowerment to create change. Also, it is important to consider why purpose-driven businesses are well-positioned to address the world’s most pressing problems. Premise recently conducted a study that found 58% of Premise contributors had made changes to their lives in order to live more sustainably. Organizations will be able to track how these issues change over time and capture the environmental issues that are most important to them.
ESG metrics were primarily used by impact investors, who are purpose-driven investors who seek to use their investments for positive change. This has changed as organizations and businesses become more aware of their overall impact.
Many investors view ESG metrics as a matter of preservation. ESG investing is centered on the goal of cost reduction and secure energy sources. Investors must ensure that the resources they require in the future are available if they want to remain profitable. Simply put, don’t drain the well of your resources.
Let’s take a look to Unilever, the European consumer goods giant and pioneer of the ESG initiative. Unilever owns nearly 30% of the tea business and sells more tea than its competitors. Unilever also buys approximately 12% of all the world’s tea. Its Lipton brand, which sells approximately $3.5 billion worth tea each year, has a global market share almost three times greater than Tata Beverages, who own Tetley Tea.
Lipton’s success was not without human and social costs. Tea workers in many parts of the world lack access to education, healthcare benefits, protection against illness, or housing. Tea harvesting can also have an environmental impact, causing soil degradation and deforestation.
This is something Unilever is very aware of. This is why Lipton made a commitment in 2010 to only use sustainably sourced tea, and has continued doing so since 2015.
Unilever recognized the need to increase revenue while also affecting positive social and environmental change. After making the switch, Unilever had to figure out how to profit from their investment.
It all started with marketing. Unilever capitalized upon the fact that consumers care deeply about whether their food is sustainable and socially responsible. This is what led to it creating brand buzz around this topic. Unilever’s 2017 survey revealed that 33% of consumers now choose to buy from brands that do good for the environment or social well-being.
This eventually translated into financial revenue. Lipton had a product that was unique, and it could market itself as a sustainably-made tea. It could also consider raising the price to attract consumers willing to pay more for high-quality teas. This would increase profits.
There are hundreds of academic studies that have examined the relationship between ESG and corporate financial performance. Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO, sent a letter in January 2018 to the CEOs at the companies in which BlackRock has invested.
It is important to understand how ESG initiatives are perceived by a business in real-time. Additionally, auditing what a company is doing at a local level is a key step towards making the necessary changes to drive sales and profits increases.
Premise is one of the leading global crowdsourced data insight platforms. Premise is a global crowdsourced data collection platform that empowers organizations to obtain a comprehensive assessment on current initiatives by creating tasks or surveys and then putting them out in our marketplace.
Crowdsourcing allows organizations to capture changing consumer attitudes and shifts in consumer behavior. In the beginning, traditional brands were seen as positive agents of social change because they brought low-cost products to communities that had never had them before. Cheap labor comes at a high price, both socially and environmentally. Companies must make positive changes to maintain their competitive edge and promote them.
Brands can retain their market share and generate revenues for their shareholders by keeping the public on their side. This will help them do better for the environment as well as their wider communities.
Ted Pardee, Premise’s chief revenue officer, is Ted Pardee.