The Importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategies for Your Business
As businesses begin to recover from disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, more are looking for ways to boost their competitiveness. One of the biggest buzzwords surrounding competitive strategies in recent years has been environmental, social, and governance (ESG) opportunities. ESG is a complex and multifaceted movement that, if used correctly, can help companies increase competitiveness, better manage risks, and reduce costs. However, to get the most from adopting ESG-based practices, businesses must fully understand the concepts surrounding it and find actionable ways to incorporate them into daily business. This article will give you a quick primer on the basics of ESG adoption and easy ways to get started with ESG practices in your organization.
What is ESG?
Many businesses are confused about the meaning of ESG. Historically, environmental, social, and governance movements have applied to investing. However, the combination of consumer demand and government regulations has prompted a more widespread application of these principles—one that reaches suppliers, employees, and customers alike.
In a nutshell, an ESG framework helps target how your business deals with the many risks and opportunities that surround issues of sustainability, inclusivity, and logistics among others. These can include net zero goals, carbon neutrality, social impact standards, and even shareholder’s rights. Many ESG plans will include elements of corporate sustainability (environmental goals) alongside corporate social responsibility (social) such as philanthropic efforts, inclusivity, and diversity standards, as well as governance issues.
No matter which of these areas you decide to focus upon, it is important to be very clear about your ESG plan and goals when communicating with customers, partners, and more in order to avoid ESG fines.
Simple Ways to Get Started with ESG
So, how does a company articulate its ESG plan? As mentioned, ESG can encompass a wide variety of standards, techniques, and protocols. If you are just getting started on building an ESG strategy, it’s best—and easiest—to begin with simple approaches. Fortunately, one of the most impactful pieces of the ESG puzzle—environmental sustainability—is easy for most businesses to approach successfully.
Developing an Environmental Risk Management Plan
Mitigating environmental risks is a great way for businesses to begin crafting their ESG plan. Environmental risks can encompass a wide range of issues, from lowering your carbon footprint to conserving natural resources and reducing the impact of waste. Almost every business uses IT assets such as computers, printers, copy machines, fax machines, and more in their daily operations. Over time, this equipment degrades and depreciates, and is replaced with newer, more energy-efficient and secure models.
That is why proper IT asset disposal can serve as a strong and easy-to-implement cornerstone of a robust ESG plan. Asset disposal encompasses more than simply “getting rid of” your IT assets. Environmentally sound practices include asset retesting and remarketing to maximize asset life and reduce strain on natural resources as well as certified e-waste recycling of nonmarketable retired assets. Partnering with a third-party vendor that specializes in IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) can ensure:
- Sensitive data is effectively destroyed and unrecoverable for greater data security
- Assets are tracked from pickup to disposal with in-depth auditing and reporting
- A report detailing the destruction, redeployment, or recycling of each asset is provided to assist you in tracking your environmental impact
Keeping track of each asset is critical, not only for your risk management plan but also to provide increased transparency for investors, customers, partners, and regulators. Because all IT assets will eventually need to be disposed of, having a sustainable end-of-life plan for these materials is a great beginning—or complement—to your ESG plan.
ARCOA — A Smart Addition to Your ESG Strategy
Every business has IT assets. From a one-person startup to a multi-location operation, IT assets such as laptops, desktops, servers, and more are the lifeblood of a business. That makes them the perfect place to start when considering how to incorporate ESG into your daily operations.
At ARCOA, we specialize in assisting companies that are concerned about environmental risk management in competently and responsibly disposing of IT assets. Not only do we ensure that all data is destroyed and unrecoverable to better protect customers, partners, and your business from cybercriminals, but we are also experts in ITAD. Our comprehensive disposal plan includes extensive audits and tracking of IT assets from pickup to final disposition to bring clarity and transparency into your sustainability and risk management efforts. To learn more about how our ITAD services can help your business reach ESG goals, visit the ARCOA website.
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