Playing the ESG card
The rise in responsible investing has resulted in some 25% of the world’s investment funds now only investing in companies demonstrating solid ESG credentials. Larry Fink, CEO at BlackRock, and other influential funds and agencies have pushed the ‘climate change’ agenda in particular, and so the environmental aspects of ESG have tended to assert greater influence, especially in terms of reporting requirements. Boards are under the spotlight to see if they are effectively managing and overseeing ESG risks, as well as adequately planning for the future. In the absence of robust disclosures, investors will increasingly conclude that companies are not adequately managing these risks.
The focus on long-term sustainable success, generating value for shareholders and contributing to wider society are now consistent themes in governance and reporting guidelines, supported by ESG-centric rating models and disclosures. Marshalls’ own experience demonstrated there needs to be a blend of culture, words & deeds, and ‘doing the right thing’ to bring ESG to life, which is balanced with achieving the selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 10 principles around Work, Environment, Human Rights and Fight against Corruption. Having strong, measurable commitments combined with wide stakeholder engagement ensures Marshalls is seen as ‘AAA’.