In Part 1, I discussed the rising tide of the ‘ESG movement’ by corporations adopting and embedding ESG principles within the functional activities of their organizations. I provided a conceptual framework for the different concepts surrounding ESG and gave a logical order as to how they map to each other. Further, I discussed some of the top-down and from-the-trenches views on ESG principles. There is no doubt that ESG is here to stay and increasingly investors, governments, employees, and customers are looking towards how companies are incorporating these principles into their business models. But how do we make businesses not just adopt these principles as a veneer on top of business-as-usual behavior? Therein lies the rub — ‘embedding’ vs. ‘acting’ — whereas the former will be sustainable and will do real good, the latter will simply create a facade of seemingly-legitimate action without any real underlying benefit.
Part 2 (this article) is about getting more into ESG in terms of ‘integrating’ it into a business vs. ‘embedding’ it. I also get into some examples of companies who I think are ‘living’ ESG principles, and finally, offering some preliminary thoughts about how one would characterize a business model that embeds ESG principles into its core.
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