As part of our summer learning series on ESG, our second session went into further detail on how to get started, with speakers providing specific steps they took within their companies to guide us in our ESG journey. Read the recap below and access the workshop resources here

Integrating sustainability into your business has never been more important. The pandemic, racial injustice, and catastrophic natural disasters that we experienced in the last year not only forced many businesses to step up and help; it created a new sense of urgency for companies to adopt new missions centered around ESG. This is allowing us to look at long-term company performance and align them with corporate sustainability goals. 

Part 1 of our summer learning series discussed the tangible benefit that ESG brings to companies and how it can help create goals that reflect your company’s values and stakeholders’ interests. We were delighted to have Olivia Khalili of PagerDuty speak with Erin Baudo Felter of Okta, Danielle Conkling of Silicon Valley Bank, and Josh Whitney of Anthesis Ventures to share their insights on their ESG journeys and how they see their programs evolving as the business environment adapts. Here are our 4 takeaways from the event:

  1. Don’t do ESG by yourself.

Social impact isn’t enough in the complex world of ESG. Understanding the people who care about your ESG disclosures is the first step, and for many companies, they will be your customers, employees, and investors. Discuss the specific issues they want to see addressed and talk to relevant departments within your company who will form your working group or committee.

  1. Use data to tell a story and get buy-in.

Whether you’re using internal information collected through customer surveys and employee meetings or hiring a consultant for external accountability, materiality assessments are a crucial part of your ESG journey. The data doesn’t have to be scientific to tell a story, but it needs to be anecdotal or quantifiable.

  1. ESG is evolving.

The most important part of early-stage ESG work is getting people on board. Setting up an accountability structure can start with one team, but understanding ESG is a task that will touch all areas of your organization. Catching up on trends, new learnings, and being open to change can make the difference and help you get things done. 

  1. Be tactical in your communications.

Forming allies in the executive team is helpful once you start communicating your long- and short-term ESG goals. A zero-budget tactic is to build momentum by writing up what you’re doing, whether it’s a page on your website or a thought leadership piece. 

To know more about the ESG roadmaps used by Okta and Silicon Valley Bank, watch the full recording of the conversation below. Don’t forget to join us for the next session on August 12th, 1:30PM PT/ 4:30PM ET of our ESG Summer Learning Series!