The Future With ESGs

Christian Burlacu, Guest Writer

The time for change is now. Our planet’s clock is ticking, and that ticking has only become louder and louder in recent years. It’s time that we listen to it. With the effects of climate change reaching international attention, change is needed for our planet. With the recent conclusion of the COP27 United Nations meeting in Egypt, it has become more important than ever to reconsider our environmental standards for corporations, holding them accountable. Corporations are expected to answer to ESG—environmental, social, and governance—goals to develop in an environmentally-friendly manner. By setting clear goals for companies, ESG standards clarify the risk and promises for corporations as they navigate through a world of shareholders, employees, and competitors all adapting to the new demands of a planet-friendly future.

From the environmental side of ESGs, corporations hoping to remain competitive in the future must also adapt to trends dictated by the people. Since society has been shifting toward a demand for “green” alternatives such as electric cars, companies must carefully evaluate how they present themselves to stakeholders. Many corporations are taking steps toward significantly reducing carbon emissions, especially following the increased awareness around the high levels of greenhouse gasses emitted by corporations.

Another area of environmental focus with the ESG is that of renewable energy. Within this area, there has been major progress spurred by meetings such as the 2015 Paris Agreement, where governments promised to significantly improve investment in renewable energy. With this came a projection that by 2040 approximately 40% of energy will be renewable. However, this coming to reality would require changes that we are not on course for. With companies constantly evading and falsifying, we could very well be straying away from the much-needed collaboration our planet depends on. To create the infrastructure for a green future, corporate and governmental agencies must instead share a common goal of transparency and cooperation.

With all of the conflicts that emerge when companies try to balance business and the environment, one would be right to question if a balance will ever be found.  However, environmental targets do not inherently hinder business dynamics; they can be a major selling point able to make or break a business. Investors, consumers, and potential employees are more and more likely to judge a company for its ESG performance in the process of deciding investments. Our planet’s future and our own future are one and the same—it is time to make sure companies realize this before it is too late.