Where to Start With ESG in Your Organisation

Step 1: Envision

Look at how the information on ESG principles and practices shared in this document applies to your company. Get a sense of where your company stands right now in each area: Environmental, Social, and Governance.

Put your biases and assumptions aside. This can be tricky, but being able to look in the mirror without “tinted glasses” is important. It’s the first step towards improvement.

  • Your company might be a champion for the environment, but you have challenges in terms of governance.
  • Or it could be socially diverse and a model of gender and wage equality – but lack a strategy to offset carbon emissions, or those of its outside suppliers.

Whatever the case, a clear image of your company’s current ESG position is essential.

Once you have that, you can begin your ESG journey with clarity and purpose. You can determine, right from the start, where you want to go. And chart, along the way, what you’ve accomplished.

Step 2: Collaborate

Next, create your team. Include every decision maker in your company in the planning process — get feedback from top-level authority and adapt your plans as needed. Determine who will be responsible for each role, such as coordinating, gathering resources, communication, and scheduling. Set up efficient ways to communicate.

Step 3: Clarify

You will then complete your materiality analysis. This will help you choose the most relevant framework for your organisation, and also help you stay focused on the most important issues.

Step 4: Gather

The next step is to collect your data. Gather your numbers/data accurately and completely. Make sure the data matches your chosen framework.

Step 5: Strategize

Put your data to work. Discover the areas you are doing well in and where you need to improve. Consider some of the other factors that may come into play as you develop and carry out your plans. These include compliance (both regulatory and internal), ecosystems (e.g., local supply chains), and culture (gaining and increasing support from employees & customers, suppliers & investors).

To get started with ESG, use the following checklist as a guideline or template. Adapt it to your company’s structure and operational details. Make it work for you. Remember that ESG is dynamic: you can always make further changes later.

  1. Form an ESG team of creative, caring, action-oriented individuals.
  2. Keep transparency at the forefront of your ESG strategy.
  3. Divide big tasks into smaller ones. Establish tools to track your progress and set workable timelines.
  4. Meet regularly to share your progress and make necessary adjustments to your plans.
  5. Join a collaborative platform where like-minded companies can share their creative ideas and best practices.
  6. Meet with industry experts to discuss new ways to perform ESG work and how to identify trends in this field.
  7. The best outcomes come from clear expectations up-front, knowing where you stand in the beginning, and having the people and plans in place to get where you need to go.

Read the next post in our 11 part ESG Series:
What are the ESG Reporting Frameworks?


This article just scratches the surface of ESG.

We put together a full ESG Explainer for a deeper dive into environmental, social and governance for best business practices.