Telescope aimed at sky

Our north star

2023 Impact Report letter from Shanté George, Principal, Chief of Staff and Chair of Baker Tilly’s ESG Steering Committee 
Shanté George

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” These famous words from Arthur Ashe illustrate how we advise our clients and are deeply rooted in who we are as an organization. Leading with authenticity, we start where we are, recognizing that each small step can result in a larger impact for our people, our clients, our communities and our planet.

Well before we formalized our efforts around Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), its principles of making a better world guided our organization, manifesting in diversity, inclusion, belonging and societal impact; our commitment to making a difference in our communities; and our more recent efforts to formalize our approach to reducing our environmental imprint.

ESG guides us to look at the big picture, not just our own strategic snapshot but a panoramic capturing a larger business impact. Today’s blurred lines between company, client, community and planet don’t mean unclear strategy. Quite the opposite. ESG strategy is guided by our business strategy and embedded in our core values of belonging, collaboration, integrity, passion and stewardship.

In 2023, we sharpened our young ESG strategy, creating achievable steps forward for our less mature programs and progressing what we already do well. Here are a few highlights:

  • Under Social, we unveiled the next iteration of our DEI strategy, empowering our industries, service lines and geographies to drive activation of equity and inclusion programs at the local level, further embedding them in our business. We introduced resource groups that support and connect our caregivers and people who are neurodiverse and/or have physical disabilities, and we created easy access to the health and well-being benefits and services we offer our team members.
  • Underlining Governance, our materiality assessment put ethics, compliance and independence in the top spot in the eyes of our clients, matching what our team members said last year. Doubling down on this, we expanded our already robust ethics education platform and increased transparency around the role and responsibilities of our Board of Partners firmwide.
  • In the Environmental realm, we have started on the path to inventory our data, taking a big leap with the procurement of a metrics-reporting platform to track our GHG emissions. For our clients, we proudly established multiple collaborations with digital reporting companies and the first energy credit marketplace, and embraced our leadership role in navigating the energy credit complexity of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Moving into 2024, we are primed to advance our ESG strategy across our service lines, industries and geographies and within our own internal spaces. Organizationally, that means creating policies, determining our environmental metric baselines and establishing goals, encouraging civic engagement of our team members, developing a supplier diversity program, and strengthening our commitment to ethical principles.

With our clients, this means staying on top of the ever-changing regulatory landscape to provide guidance and expectations around disclosure requirements and more broadly assisting with the development of a plan for mitigating risks and enhancing and protecting long-term value.

Along our ESG path, we will remain true to who we are as an organization and the difference we can make. Our impact — through our footprints and fingerprints — will leave a proud legacy that will last Beyond Tomorrow™.