Overview of initiative
Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) is the movement for businesses to operate in a transparent, environmentally and socially responsible way and to practice good governance. With a plethora of ESG disclosure standards, and the risk of greenwashing, organisations need guidance on how to effectively identify and implement their environmental, social and governance goals.
The four main challenges to achieving ESG ambitions are:
- Environmental degradation and social inequity continues to grow despite massive growth in ESG investment, products and services.
- Lack of harmonisation - numerous voluntary frameworks and standards e.g. CDP, CDSB, GRI, SASB, IIRC, TCFD exist which can confuse the market.
- Companies - particularly small businesses - may struggle to identify and implement best practices for various ESG indicators.
- Shareholders and investors may not know where to access accurate and trustworthy information when assessing ESG-aligned investments.
Why is this important?
Whilst the popularity of ESG has been driven by customers and investors, ESG is also becoming increasingly important as a risk consideration for the long-term viability and success of an organisation. ESG investment is also seen as a pathway to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Standards Australia sees an opportunity to provide a harmonised framework/ best practice guidance to aid Australian Organisations to improve their ESG credentials.
Standards Australia can help build trust and credibility amongst investors, shareholders and companies, important when distinguishing genuine ESG actions from greenwashing.
Our initiative intends to help guide organisations on the standards, processes and policies that are required to achieve their ESG goals, and foster dialogue, collaboration and partnership here and internationally.
We are developing easy-to-access guidance on how organisations can embed ESG goals, including:
- A one-stop shop for a wide range of ESG user needs, including a toolkit of policies, processes, measurements and validation tools
- A map of available standards and regulations combined with a tool to help businesses build their ESG approach