As we entered the new decade, businesses were already grappling with new challenges to their license to operate: What did it mean to be a good corporate citizen in the context of the climate emergency and continuing social inequality? Consumer and employee activism and political pressure at both the global and national levels were combining to force ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues to the top of the board's and management's agenda. Having a clear corporate purpose was becoming essential.
In August 2019 the US Business Roundtable published its statement on the purpose of the corporation where it sought to accommodate a broader group of stakeholders, in the UK we are beginning to see companies report their s. 172 practices and globally companies (and governments) are adopting TCFD disclosures as best practice; Blackrock's January statement was clear to indicate that it was making sustainability integral to the way it approached its investments. The pandemic has simply reinforced these aspirations and it is fair to say that we are now firmly in the age of "stakeholder capitalism."
Since then, our lives have changed fundamentally, in ways that few of us could ever have imagined. But what will COVID-19 and its after-effects mean for ESG? Evidence is building that those businesses that embrace ESG values as an integral part of their COVID decision making will be better placed to survive and, ultimately, thrive in a post-COVID world.
Few question that with COVID-19 our lives have changed fundamentally, in ways that few of us could ever have imagined. The pandemic will have been with us for at least a year before we begin to think about returning to "normal" and we know that "normal" will be different from what it was in March 2020. How can we learn from our lives during COVID-19 and position our stakeholder governance agendas to prepare us for a post-COVID world? We have seen clear evidence building that those businesses that embrace ESG values as an integral part of their decision making will be better placed to survive and, ultimately, thrive in a post-COVID world.
This series of ESG-focused thought leadership webinars will share insights and practical guidance for businesses considering what ESG means for them in the context of the current crisis and beyond.
Click below to register your interest in our demystifying ESG webinar series.
Recordings from Our Demystifying ESG Webinar Series 2020
Date: 7 October 2020
Topic: ESG and Corporate Reporting Part 2
Speakers: Beatriz Araujo (Chair), Ilona Millar, Paul Anderson and Brent Esler
Date: 23 September 2020
Topic: ESG and Executive Compensation
Speakers: Nick O'Donnell (Chair), Jeremy Edwards, Don-Tobias Jol, Victoria Kirsch and Joseph Fomenky, member of the Equity Solutions team at Aon
Date: 9 September 2020
Topic: ESG and Corporate Reporting Part 1
Speakers: Beatriz Araujo (Chair), Jo Hewitt, Nick O'Donnell, Hannah Swift and Andriea Vamadevan
Date: 26 August 2020
Topic: ESG and the Supply Chain
Speakers: Jo Hewitt (Chair), Francesca Richmond, Ben Smith and Graham Stuart
Date: 12 August 2020
Topic: ESG Regulation for Financial Institutions
Speakers: Nick O'Donnell (Chair), Tim Alferink, Jennifer Klass and Caitlin McErlane
Date: 29 July 2020
Topic: ESG and the Modern Workforce
Speakers: Beatriz Araujo (Chair), Jo Hewitt, Jonathan Sharp and Jonathan Tuck
Date: 15 July 2020
Topic: What Is the New European Green Finance Taxonomy, and How Will It Affect Your Business?
Speakers: Jo Hewitt (Chair), Caitlin McErlane, Anahita Thoms and Sam Gill, Co-Founder and COO of Sylvera
1 July 2020
ESG and the Modern Customer
Speakers: Jo Hewitt (Chair), Beatriz Araujo, Nick O'Donnell and David Scott
17 June 2020
Speakers: Caitlin McErlane (Chair), Michael Doran, Eva Segur-Cabanac, Chantal Thompson and Caroline Escott, Senior Policy Lead (Investment and Stewardship) at Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
3 June 2020
Introduction to ESG
Speakers: Beatriz Araujo, Jo Hewitt, Caitlin McErlane, Nick O'Donnell