Setting The Agenda For Corporate Responsibility
In the last year, Equiniti has stepped up its commitments to Corporate Responsibility. Positive ESG impacts (environmental, social and governance) have become a vital focus for businesses who want to do well.
Kate Prangnell, Equiniti’s Group Corporate Responsibility Manager, introduces the first in a three part series, about businesses’ need for change and how Equiniti is changing for good.
The tipping point for change
Our world is getting hotter by the day. Billions of people around the world are starting to take note. Businesses are too. To make a difference, the drive for corporate change has to come from the heart of the company and there are compelling external reasons to do so. Let's explore them.
This is reality
Across the globe, we are now seeing the real impacts of climate change: extreme weather, rising seas, soil degradation, food scarcity, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, ocean acidification – the evidence is in. We’re past the stage where the Boardroom can say environmental impact is not a material issue for a business.
The numbers stack up
A report on sustainable financing by HSBC Holdings showed that clear business ESG commitments resulted in stronger brand reputation, financial returns and shareholder engagement. Blackrock also predicts dedicated ESG funds will grow from $25 trillion to $400 trillion over the next decade. We now have the proof that taking an ESG approach is not only the right approach to take but in doing so, has a material benefit to business.
Together we are stronger
The UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is an independent body, backed by the UN. It works to understand the investment implications of ESG factors and it supports its network of investor signatories to incorporate these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. The PRI now has 2300 signatories representing over $80 trillion under asset management. This shows the extent to which investors are now taking ESG factors seriously.
Regulation and reporting requirements for Corporate Responsibility factors are on the increase. This is a trend which looks set to continue following the UK Government’s announcement to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero by 2050. With a 2050 vision in mind, we all have an ultimate target and a starting point.
How can businesses change for good?
Equiniti is amongst many other businesses who have, or who are, taking a good look at themselves to understand their scope for change. Here is where Equiniti started...
Exploring our impacts
Equiniti was compelled to explore its own impacts to gain a better understanding of where we needed to make changes and to see if there were some additional opportunities. For us, in the context of the current climate and with increasing interest from clients and colleagues alike to see where we stood on the issues, this was the right time for us.
In the past, Corporate Responsibility at Equiniti (or CSR as we were calling it then), tended to conjure up charities and fundraising in colleagues minds. That needed to change. Corporate Responsibility is fundamentally about who we are as a business and the impact we have in the world.
Colleagues are onboard
In a recent questionnaire, almost 80% of Equiniti colleagues told us it was important for them to work for a socially and environmentally responsible business.
Aligning our behaviours with our clients'
As well as being important to colleagues, good Corporate Responsibility has a very real impact on the impression we are making in the marketplace, and both our clients and investors want to see that we’re taking it seriously. And we are taking things seriously.
Defining a strategy
The next steps we took were to devise a CR Strategy. We will share our approach in part 2 of this series: “A year of corporate responsibility brings positive change to Equiniti”.