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ESG Reporting in Business: Time to Rethink Change Management

One of the most important outcomes of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that was held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro was the document referred to as The Future We Want. On page 47 of this document is the emphasis on sustainability reporting, which calls companies to integrate sustainability information in their reporting cycles. ESG reporting is the disclosure of social, environmental, and corporate impacts of a company’s operations.

The process of ESG reporting involves setting goals for sustainability and managing them to help promote a sustainable global economy. Whether you decide to install new machinery to improve efficiency or change the operational model of your company, one party that will define the success of ESG sustainability effort is the staff. In most cases, employees become resistant to changes because they are uncertain about their future. So, how do you handle change management for effective ESG reporting? Keep reading to understand some of the best strategies to adopt.

HR Development

To implement your efforts for sustainability, you need employees. For example, if you want to cut power-related bills, reduce wastes, and improve production efficiency, it is your employees who will make the plan work. This is why you should commence the process of ESG reporting with staff training. Your staff will be happy to learn more about the process of ESG reporting and the expected impacts. This will be an opportune time to address fears that they might have from the efforts to adopt new technology or machinery for higher efficiency. Make sure also to highlight their place in the entire setting of ESG reporting.

Making Staff Part of the ESG Reporting Efforts

There is nothing as satisfying as making a person know that he/she is valued in the process that is about to start. When it comes to ESG sustainability reporting, be as frank as possible about it by highlighting the main stakeholders, such as shareholders, employees, and customers.  This will help in a number of ways, which will ultimately improve your chances of success with ESG reporting.

  • Your staff will want to be associated with the success of the ESG reporting process.
  • They will also be there to help with ideas on improving sustainability.
  • It becomes easy to gather data and even trace back the efforts used for sustainability.

Redefining the Goals to Emphasize the Benefits to Employees

For employees to support your idea, it will be good to be specific about the benefits they will derive from the process. Therefore, demonstrate the core focuses of ESG reporting, which include showcasing the social, environmental, and corporate governance impacts of the business. Then, demonstrate how employees will benefit from the social and corporate governance parts. Some efforts and benefits to employees that you might want to highlight to reduce resistance and enhance your impact on sustainability include:

  • Extending medical cover to employee’s family members.
  • Work with staff in implementing ESG activities and use the details to build their profiles.
  • Make the process of growth in their careers clear.

Demonstrating Successes from Other Successful Firms

Another excellent idea for overcoming resistance is looking at what other firms have achieved so far. So, try to identify some of the well-managed firms to learn about their efforts for sustainability. For example, do they use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or Sustainability Accountability Standards Board (SASB) framework for their reporting? However, make sure to analyze the framework and determine its suitability in your situation.

As you can see, sustainability reporting can come with a number of challenges, such as resistance from staff, and it is prudent to craft ways of overcoming them. In this post, we have demonstrated how to turn your employees into crucial parties for helping your ESG sustainability reporting work. You should also get an appropriate ESG sustainability reporting software to make the process of gathering data and generating the reports more accurate.

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