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Unlock the power of a sustainability culture

Complimentary report and actionable guide: Building a Sustainability Culture

Over the past year, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) conversation has become louder. We’ve seen numerous revisions on ESG regulation around the globe as well as changes in how people are talking about it. From the push for green infrastructure and a net zero energy transition to the way investment decisions are made, ESG is everywhere. However, conflicting perspectives on ESG too often emphasize the risks surrounding these undertakings rather than the opportunities.

What was initially a purpose-driven desire to do good has left many organizations reeling, mired in uncertainty and frustration as they scramble to understand stakeholder requirements while simultaneously navigating backlash about overcommitting or underperforming.

Somewhere along the way, this desire to do good was buried by the crushing weight of obligations. With an onus to plan for mandatory reporting requirements and invest wisely in assets, infrastructure and people in a way that accounts for all stakeholders, and an imperative to be transparent in all these efforts, it’s easy to lose sight of the myriad opportunities ESG presents when you’re blinded by a thick veil of responsibility.

It’s time to pause and reframe the conversation — to move beyond talking about the initial drivers and stakeholder obligations and discuss ESG as a means of opportunity management rather than simply risk mitigation.

Baker Tilly is proud to sponsor The Conference Board’s latest ESG Center Report: Building a Sustainability Culture. This report is a culmination of four thought leadership briefs based on a series of Chatham House Rule working group convenings held by The Conference Board ESG, Human Capital and Marketing & Communications Centers and sponsored by Baker Tilly. The report offers insights, guidance and best practices from the working group sessions. Above all, it paints a compelling picture of where companies are today on their sustainability journey (like our own) and where they need to go, offering guidance on how to get there.

By building a sustainability culture that becomes an indelible part of the company’s character, companies can capitalize on this moment by equipping their workforce with the behaviors, training, resources and capabilities to make an impact. This culture starts with the senior leaders, takes hold in middle management and is made accessible by focusing on a few key priorities. Leaders need to understand both the risks of inaction and the benefits of action, recognizing the simple truth that adopting a sustainability culture and building ESG into strategy and operations fundamentally adds value to an organization.

At its core, ESG is an opportunity for sustainable growth. Pursuing opportunities to drive ESG efficiencies is what positions companies as industry leaders, providing access to markets and preventing revenue loss. When everyone in the organization makes decisions and acts through the lens of sustainability, it becomes an enduring part of the company’s character, outlasting changes in corporate leadership and government administrations.

Navigating ESG can be complex, but this is not the time for companies to back down. It’s the time to be thoughtful and intentional in pursuing a sustainable culture that takes advantage of ESG efficiencies that drive opportunity.

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ESG and sustainability

Going beyond responsibility to value and opportunity, we provide comprehensive and industry-focused ESG and sustainability advisory and assurance from development to execution.

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How ESG can shape an organization's sustainability

A strong ESG program can help shape an organization’s sustainability by reducing costs, managing and mitigating risks, and attracting and retaining talent. Why are organizations falling short on their sustainability journeys? 

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Jump-start your sustainability road map with an ESG maturity assessment

Before building a strategic and intentional sustainability roadmap, an organization must assess the current state of ESG maturity against four levels – initial, growth, operational and transformational.

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