ESG – Future of sustainability: Doing good business is good for business
Sustainability has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years and for good reason.
From best practice and sustainability within the workplace to multinational manufacturers going green, the increasing importance of it is all around us. There are two terms which at first seem contradictory but which we need to embrace in order to thrive abundantly – they are disruption and sustainability. Disruption is being driven by technology and sustainability by an understanding that long term solutions and practices require immediate application.
According to Forbes, the steady growth of ESG investing was greatly accelerated around 2013 and 2014 when the first studies were published, indicating that good corporate sustainability performance is associated with positive financial results. They also reported that as of 2018, 80% of the world’s largest corporations use Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being.
The upcoming issue of ESG – The Future of Sustainability takes a deep dive into its three interdependent pillars: environment, social and governance. Readers can expect in-depth pieces, tips/advice and case studies on a wide range of topics, from success stories within sustainable agriculture to workplace diversity and a South African perspective on sustainable investing.
Within the environmental pillar, the publication looks at green cities – how in order to be successful, cities need to be in harmony with natural resources and their surroundings. Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO Water Research Commission, looks at water as our most valuable resource and how the 4IR suite of tools mean that water management can finally enter the 21st century. A deep dive into how sustainable mining practices are giving back to people and the planet is accompanied by an Exxaro as a case study.
In terms of social, this edition zones in on corporate social investment and how companies have a responsibility to devoting their resources to aiding the world at large during this time. Workplace diversity is addressed from a sustainability perspective as well as a look at South Africa’s entrepreneurs who have developed solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation at the grassroots level.
Within the governance pillar, an article by Old Mutual investigates the benefits of clean business practices and the importance of sustainability, gender equality and corporate reporting. Sustainable investing has seen a major upwards trajectory in recent years – how do publicly listed companies deal with environmental issues and climate change, and how do they manage carbon risk? A South African perspective is investigated. And finally, why are investors fixated on sustainability? A global view on how ESG is moving into mainstream investment is looked at.
Sustainability is more than going green. The future of sustainability is circular – The circular economy model provides us with a promising roadmap for developing sustainable macroeconomic policies and measures for transition to a just, sustainable and low-carbon economy.