There is no legal requirement to have an ESG policy, however a well-written plan can set the tone of your work and act as a focal point for the communication of your ESG commitments and their benefits throughout the firm. It can also provide a reference point to employees who want to get involved with the ESG activities. Senior management/leadership may seek to establish, implement, and maintain an ESG policy or a plan that:
- is fit for purpose and the context of the member firm;
- supports its strategic direction;
- provides a framework for setting ESG objectives; and
- includes a commitment to meet stakeholders’ expectations and required compliance needs.
An ESG policy or plan is more effective if it is more than a document. It can be seen as being an integral part of your firm’s culture, of its values and set out the performance standards required to meet your ESG goals.
Talking about ESG – Practical Tips for Communications
- Be truthful and accurate: Businesses must live up to the claims they make about their formal initiatives and ESG credentials.
- Be clear and unambiguous for the benefit of all those reviewing your ESG policy or plan.
- Avoid omitting or hiding important information.
- Consider the total impact of your business activities. ESG claims can be misleading where they don’t reflect the overall impact or where they focus on one aspect of it but not another.5. Substantiate your ESG claims by backing them up with robust, credible and up-to-date evidence.
- Substantiate your ESG claims by backing them up with robust, credible and up-to-date evidence.