Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) refers to a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. These criteria help to better understand how a company manages risks and opportunities related to environmental, social, and governance aspects.

Below is a breakdown of each component:


The environmental aspect of ESG considers how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment. This includes:

  • Climate Change: Efforts to reduce carbon emissions and impact on climate change.
  • Resource Management: Efficient use of resources like water and raw materials.
  • Pollution and Waste: Management of waste, emissions, and pollutants.
  • Biodiversity: Impact on ecosystems and biodiversity.


The social aspect evaluates how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Key considerations include:

  • Labour Practices: Fair wages, safe working conditions, and labor rights.
  • Community Engagement: Contributions to local communities and social initiatives.
  • Human Rights: Policies against child labor and forced labor.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.


The governance aspect focuses on the internal practices and policies that lead to effective decision-making and legal compliance. This includes:

  • Board Structure: Composition, diversity, and independence of the board.
  • Ethical Conduct: Policies on bribery, corruption, and executive compensation.
  • Transparency: Quality and honesty of disclosures, financial practices, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Shareholder Rights: Protections for shareholders and fair treatment in corporate decisions.

Importance of ESG

ESG criteria are becoming increasingly important for investors and stakeholders for several reasons:

  • Risk Management: Identifying potential risks that could affect a company’s performance.
  • Sustainable Growth: Focusing on long-term sustainability rather than short-term gains.
  • Reputation: Enhancing corporate reputation and brand loyalty by demonstrating ethical practices.
  • Regulation Compliance: Meeting regulatory requirements and avoiding legal issues.

ESG Reporting

Many companies now publish ESG reports to provide transparency on their environmental, social, and governance practices. These reports help investors, consumers, and other stakeholders understand how the company addresses these crucial areas.


Free Online Course on Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Steven Galvin

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