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ESG Environmental Social Governance

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. It’s a framework to evaluate a company’s sustainability and ethical practices.

ESG criteria are increasingly important for investors as they seek to align their investments with their values and consider companies’ long-term sustainability and societal impact.


Considers how a company’s operations impact the environment, including its carbon footprint, resource usage, pollution levels, and efforts towards sustainability and conservation.


Assesses how a company manages its relationships with stakeholders, including employees, communities, customers, and suppliers. It encompasses diversity and inclusion, labour practices, human rights, and community engagement.


Evaluates the company’s management structures, policies, and practices. It includes board diversity, executive compensation, transparency, accountability, and adherence to ethical standards and legal requirements.

The 3 pillars of ESG?

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive​


The “Environmental” aspect of ESG refers to how a company interacts with the natural environment and the impact of its operations on ecological systems.

It encompasses factors such as:

Climate Change

This involves assessing a company’s efforts to mitigate climate change, including its carbon emissions, energy efficiency measures, renewable energy usage, and strategies for transitioning to a low-carbon economy.


Companies are evaluated on their responsible use of natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials. This includes reducing waste, increasing recycling, and minimising resource consumption.

Pollution and Waste

Companies are assessed based on their management of pollution and waste, including air and water pollution, hazardous waste disposal, and efforts to prevent environmental contamination.

Biodiversity Conservation

Focuses on a company’s impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. It includes measures to protect natural habitats, conserve biodiversity, and avoid activities that harm endangered species or ecosystems.

Supply Chains

Companies are increasingly expected to consider the environmental impact of their supply chains, including sourcing practices, transportation methods, and the environmental footprint of their suppliers.

Overall, the environmental component of ESG emphasises a company’s commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and responsible management of natural resources, which are crucial for mitigating climate change and preserving ecosystems for future generations.


The “Social” aspect of ESG focuses on how a company manages its relationships with people and communities.

It encompasses many social factors, including:

Labour & HR

This involves evaluating how a company treats its employees and ensures their rights are respected. It includes fair wages, safe working conditions, equal opportunities, and freedom from discrimination and harassment.

Diversity & Inclusion

Companies are assessed on their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within their workforce, including representation of different demographics (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation) in leadership positions and throughout the organisation.

Health and Safety

This aspect focuses on measures taken by a company to ensure the health and safety of its employees and stakeholders. It includes policies and practices related to occupational health and safety, emergency preparedness, and employee wellness programs.

Community Engagement

Companies are evaluated based on their relationships with local communities, including efforts to contribute positively to community development, support local economies, and engage in philanthropic activities.

Customer Relations

This involves assessing how a company interacts with its customers, including product quality, safety standards, customer service, and responsiveness to customer feedback and concerns.

Supply Chain

Companies are increasingly expected to address human rights issues throughout their supply chains, including preventing forced labour, child labour, and other human rights abuses in their operations and supply chains.

Overall, the social component of ESG reflects a company’s commitment to ethical conduct, respect for human rights, fair treatment of employees and communities, and contribution to social well-being and development. It recognises that businesses have responsibilities beyond financial performance and should strive to create positive social impacts.

Health and Safety


The “Governance” aspect is crucial for evaluating how well a company is managed and governed.

It encompasses factors such as:

Corporate Governance

This involves the structure and functioning of the company’s board of directors, including board composition, independence of directors, and effectiveness in oversight and decision-making. Strong corporate governance practices help ensure accountability, transparency, and shareholder interest alignment.

Ethical Conduct and Integrity

Companies are assessed on their commitment to ethical conduct and integrity in all operations. This includes adherence to legal and regulatory requirements, avoiding conflicts of interest, and promoting a culture of honesty and integrity throughout the organisation.

Executive Compensation

Governance evaluates the fairness and transparency of executive compensation practices, including alignment with company performance, long-term value creation, and consideration of social and environmental factors. Excessive executive pay or incentives that encourage short-termism may raise governance concerns.

Risk Management

Governance includes processes and systems for identifying, assessing, and managing risks faced by the company, including environmental, social, and governance risks. Effective risk management helps safeguard the company’s long-term sustainability and resilience.

Shareholder Rights

Governance assesses the rights and treatment of shareholders, including mechanisms for shareholder engagement, voting rights, and disclosure of relevant information. Companies are expected to respect shareholder rights and ensure fair treatment of all shareholders.

Transparency and Disclosure

Governance evaluates the transparency and quality of corporate reporting and disclosure practices. Companies must provide accurate, timely, and relevant information to stakeholders, including investors, regulators, employees, and the public.

Stakeholder Engagement:

Governance considers how companies engage with and respond to the interests and concerns of various stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and regulators. Meaningful stakeholder engagement helps build trust and foster long-term relationships.

Overall, governance plays a critical role in ensuring companies’ accountability, transparency, and integrity, which are essential for sustainable business practices and long-term value creation.

Strong governance practices build trust with stakeholders and reduce risks associated with environmental, social, and governance issues.

Is ESG Mandatory?

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria are not mandatory requirements for companies in most jurisdictions. However, there has been a growing trend towards voluntary adoption of ESG principles by businesses worldwide.

While ESG is not mandatory in a legal sense for most companies, the trend towards ESG integration is driven by a combination of regulatory developments, investor preferences, stakeholder expectations, and market dynamics.

ISO 27001 & ESG

There are several reasons why ESG is gaining prominence and being treated as a critical factor in decision-making:

How does ESG play into CSRD

The scope of the CSRD extends beyond ESG into Human/Workers rights, requiring businesses to divulge a wide range of metrics and resource-related data which will require the involvement on stakeholders from both within and without the business including partners, suppliers and investors.

How ISO Standards Can Improve ESG Performance

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards can play a significant role in improving ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) performance by providing globally recognised frameworks, guidelines, and best practices for companies to integrate ESG considerations into their operations and management systems.

Which ISO Standards are relevant to ESG?

Environmental Management (ISO 14001)

ISO 14001 sets out requirements for an environmental management system (EMS), providing a systematic approach for companies to identify, manage, monitor, and improve their environmental performance. By implementing ISO 14001, companies can reduce environmental impacts, comply with regulations, and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship, thus enhancing their ESG performance.

Energy Management (ISO 50001)

ISO 50001 provides a framework for establishing an energy management system (EnMS) to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. By implementing ISO 50001, companies can enhance their environmental performance, reduce operational costs, and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts, aligning with ESG goals related to environmental sustainability.

Quality Management (ISO 9001)

ISO 9001 is a quality management standard that ensures that organisations consistently meet customer requirements and regulatory standards while aiming for continual improvement. While ISO 9001 primarily focuses on quality management, its principles and practices can align with ESG goals by promoting environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and good governance within organisations.

Carbon Footprinting (ISO 14064-1)

Carbon Footprinting according to ISO 14064-1 supports ESG objectives by promoting environmental stewardship, enhancing stakeholder engagement and transparency, and strengthening governance practices related to climate change mitigation. By implementing ISO 14064-1, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development and contribute to a more environmentally and socially responsible business environment.

Occupational Health and Safety (ISO 45001)

By implementing ISO 45001, companies can protect the health and safety of their employees, demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, and improve governance practices related to occupational health and safety, thereby enhancing their ESG performance. By implementing ISO 14001, companies can reduce environmental impacts, comply with regulations, and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship, thus enhancing their ESG performance.

Information Security (ISO 27001)

ISO 27001 plays into ESG by helping organisations manage and mitigate risks associated with information security, promoting transparency and accountability, and supporting responsible business practices. By implementing ISO 27001, organisations can enhance their ESG performance and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and ethical conduct.

Implementing ISO Standards

ISO standards offer valuable frameworks, tools, and guidelines for companies to enhance their ESG performance by addressing environmental, social, and governance considerations in a systematic and integrated manner.

By implementing ISO standards relevant to their operations and objectives, companies can improve their sustainability, resilience, reputation, and long-term value creation, thereby contributing to a more sustainable and responsible business environment.

How can CGBC help me
achieve ESG Goals?

As an ISO consultant, CG Business Consulting can play a crucial role in helping organisations achieve their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals by providing expertise, guidance, and support in implementing ISO standards and integrating ESG considerations into their business strategies and operations.

Here’s how CGBC help:

Assessment and Gap Analysis

CGBC offer a comprehensive assessment and gap analysis service to review the organisation's current practices and performance related to ESG factors.

Strategic Planning

Based on the assessment findings, our experienced ISO consultants can assist in developing a strategic plan and roadmap for integrating ESG considerations into the organisation's overall business strategy and objectives.

ISO Certification Preparation:

CGBC's team of ISO consultants can provide guidance and support throughout the certification process.

System Implementation & Integration:

CG Business Consultants can assist in implementing and integrating management systems based on relevant ISO standards for environmental, social, and governance.

Continuous Improvement:

CGBC's team of experienced ISO consultants can help establish systems and processes for ongoing performance monitoring, data collection, analysis, and reporting to track progress towards ESG goals and identify opportunities for further improvement.

Stakeholder Engagement

Our ISO consultants can support the organisation in engaging with stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, investors, regulators, and communities, to solicit feedback, address concerns, and build partnerships for advancing ESG objectives.

Benchmarking and Best Practices

One of the biggest benefits of working with CGBC is that we can provide insights into industry benchmarks, emerging trends, and best practices in ESG management and ISO standards implementation.

Partner with CG Business Consulting
today and commit to ESG

CGBC can serve as a valuable partner and advisor in helping organisations navigate the complexities of ESG management, achieve compliance with ISO standards, and drive continuous improvement towards sustainable and responsible business practices.

By leveraging their expertise and experience, organisations can strengthen their ESG performance, enhance their reputation, and create long-term value for stakeholders and society.

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