Let's close the ‘ESG communication gap’ this World Environment Day

ESG has for too long been a buzzword and a communication gap around the subject has emerged, a climate and sustainability expert has said. Chris Bennett, who founded Evora Global in 2011 to help make real estate more sustainable, said ESG is about helping companies to understand their future risks and taking steps to lower them.

"ESG is an increasingly important subject and we can all understand that climate change poses a risk to assets and that we need to take action.

“But most people still don’t know what ESG really means. This includes many politicians and senior business leaders, and this has to change,” said Bennett.

“Climate change is real, so getting some good data on the E of ESG is something any business with assets should be interested in. Meanwhile, the S and the G social and governance are vital indicators about how a company makes decisions and how it behaves.”

Bennett said when ESG data is used effectively it can safeguard companies and assets and futureproof decisions.

“A company with a strong understanding of its ESG risks can plan well for the future and also ensure it has a more positive impact on the world,” Bennett said.

However, Bennett added that misuse of ESG data can be used to justify unacceptable and unsustainable practices often known as ‘greenwashing’.

“Misunderstandings around ESG can cause problems. Greenwashing is bad for all industries and undermines trust and credibility. It’s a shame ESG has been associated with such things as it’s a great commercial opportunity,” Bennett added.

“Businesses are now recognising the importance of ESG skills more widely in their hiring and training. Also, more and more investors are collecting data on ESG indicators, and using these to make better investment decisions.

“I hope World Environment Day will be an opportunity to close the communication gap on ESG and have a good conversation on how it can help us all."