Case studies

August 24, 2023

What are ESG frameworks?

The demand for socially and ecologically conscious procedures is continually growing. Organizations are accountable to various stakeholders such as investors, customers, employees and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that seek to assess the organization’s global impact.

Although businesses are generally familiar with financial accounting, reporting on issues related to the environment, society and governance, it seems more complicated owing to the lack of a single set of guidelines to follow. ESG analysis and reporting can offer useful insight and aid in building stakeholders' long-term value.

Everything You Need to Know About ESG Frameworks

ESG frameworks assist businesses in managing their ESG commitments. They give instructions on how to construct ESG reports, which are used to track and report ESG development. They provide perspective on which ESG metrics you should track and report.

The disclosure of data pertaining to business operations in three categories; environmental, social and corporate governance provides a bird’s-eye view of the business’s external impact. ESG standards are the minimum level of ESG commitment that a business must reach, as opposed to ESG frameworks, which reflect a set of rules and best practices to adhere to.

ESG frameworks can often be used to identify risks that could negatively affect an industry or even several industries. While some risks may be industry-wide, others may be company-specific. The first step in assessing your company's sustainability is to adopt a framework to develop a sustainability report.

What is ESG Reporting And Why is It Important?

The analysis of performance across the ESG factors summarizes quantitative and qualitative disclosures and helps screen investments. ESG reporting has substantially increased over the last few years.

ESG encompasses

Environmental metrics that consider how companies use energy and manage their environmental impact as stewards of the world. Social metrics that examine how a company fosters its people and culture, and how that has ripple effects on the broader community.

Governance metrics that consider a company’s internal system of controls, practices, and procedures as well as how an organization stays ahead of violations. 

Although there are varying opinions, many investors agree that ESG reporting is a critical component of a company's operations since it not only offers better environmental, social, and governance information but also aids in the formulation of long-term objectives and strategies.

In 2022 and in the future, firms will place a strong emphasis on ESG transparency. In order to reduce investment risk, investors are increasingly taking ESG factors into account. According to the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, ESG-mandated assets in the United States will account for 50% of all professionally managed investments by 2025.

However, companies that neglect ESG reporting, exhibit a lack of openness will lead to concerned investors not considering them as possible investments. ESG reporting might someday be required by law, much like financial reporting is today. Having foresight of legislative requirements is just one of the many crucial reasons for ESG reporting.

List of frameworks

ESG Frameworks generally serve three stakeholders i.e. investors, management and government. The various frameworks that follow are designed to meet the needs of one or more of these stakeholders. Approximately 80% of reporting organizations use the following frameworks as guidelines for their ESG reporting;

  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) 
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
  • Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR)
  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)

To Conclude With

In conclusion, it is becoming increasingly clear that strong ESG performance is critical for companies that want to remain competitive in today's market. Companies that prioritize ESG issues can benefit from lower financing costs, better access to capital, and increased brand reputation. Conversely, companies with poor ESG performance may face higher financing costs, legal challenges, and reputational damage.

To succeed in this new ESG landscape, businesses need expert assistance to navigate the complex web of ESG regulations and reporting standards. ESG analysts and consultants can help companies identify relevant ESG issues, assess the associated risks and opportunities, develop ESG strategies, and prepare ESG reports. By working with experienced ESG professionals, companies can enhance their ESG performance and gain a competitive advantage in the market.