ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
As ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues become increasingly important to companies around the world, creating a holistic and implementable ESG plan is a necessity. An ESG plan is a pathway to measure, organize, and incorporate sustainability into all facets of your company as well as a tool for continuous evaluation and practice improvement. There is no “one size fits all” ESG plan; each company has internal priorities and the ESG plan should reflect the unique nature of each organization. An ESG plan should also be viewed as a living document; evolving with industry best practices and advancing corporate priorities.
Why Should You Implement an ESG Plan?
Integrating an ESG Plan into your organization is quickly becoming a requirement for businesses. Current and prospective employees want to work for companies that care about the world around them, consumers want to spend their money at responsible organizations, and investors are requiring ESG plans and disclosures before investing. Additionally, as local and national governments recognize the importance of reducing their impact, adopting ESG plans now may keep you ahead of future mandates.
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What are the steps to create an ESG Plan?
To begin the process it is important to come up with an organization-wide vision for sustainability. While this vision may evolve over time, understanding what is important to internal and external stakeholders allows for the team to focus on specific ESG objectives.
Assessment & Recommendations
To understand your company’s current ESG plans, SOCOTEC recommends a full assessment of current practices. This assessment includes, but is not limited to, an ESG questionnaire and a materiality assessment. From this assessment, specific recommendations will be made and implemented for your company.
Once the assessment has been completed and recommendations are in place, implementation of the plan will begin. This phase may include creating meaningful goals and targets, tracking performance metrics, writing and implementing plans and policies, submitting buildings/office spaces for sustainability certifications, etc. This phase will be the longest, and subsequent phases will most likely overlap as implementation of the plan will be ongoing.
ESG surveys and written reports can help you understand the sustainability performance of your own organization as well as identify specific areas for organizational improvement. Additionally, external reporting can inform employees, stakeholders, and the public on the ESG actions of your company. External reporting is an excellent way to tell your organization’s ESG and sustainability story in an organized and concise manner.
- CDP (general industry reporting)
- GRESB (real estate portfolio reporting)
- LEED Arc Skoru (individual real estate asset reporting)
- GRI-aligned Sustainability Report
Creating and implementing an ESG plan should be part of an ongoing process, vital in progress and advancing new goals. Your ESG plan should be reviewed and updated at regular intervals, repeating the assessment, implementation, and reporting cycle.
Getting Started with an ESG Plan
Experience with ESG: Organizations beginning their ESG journey may find taking the first step difficult. Our professionals have extensive experience working with organizations to facilitate the ESG process and provide support on difficult decisions.
Turn-key Services: SOCOTEC offers a turn-key suite of offerings- external reporting support, technical building assessments, building certifications, plan and policy writing, and energy audits are among the many services we offer.
Current client services can include:
- Air Quality Consulting
- Energy/Carbon Modeling
- Sustainability Consulting
- Materials Research
- Construction Waste Management
- Spec Development
- Building Certifications
Deeper Understanding of Your Performance Metrics:
Organizations may outsource their sustainability metrics to a third-party data management service. While these services specialize in storing and collecting data, they often lack the expertise to assess data quality, reconcile gaps in data, and identify opportunities for increased energy performance and resource savings. SOCOTEC has a staff of highly technical professionals that can work with you or your data management service to review performance metrics.
Green Building Workshops
SOCOTEC provides in-house training to corporate and private clients for LEED, green building strategies and concerns, aspects of energy modeling, and specialized high-performance building systems.
Green Building Guidelines
SOCOTEC develops green building guidelines or regulations for corporations, campuses, and public agencies.
Previous projects examples include guidelines for:
- The New York City Department of Design & Construction
- The City of Philadelphia
- The United Nations Headquarters
- The NYC School Construction Authority
- State University of New York at Buffalo