I’m amazed at how many business leaders still think the push for greater sustainability performance and transparency has nothing to do with them. They need to get their heads out of the sand.
Last week, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation released its first sustainability standards, which will become mandatory for ASX listed companies as part of the global push for consistent disclosures on financial risks and opportunities on sustainability topics.
But, even if your organisation isn’t exposed to capital markets, there are plenty of reasons why sustainability matters.
Very soon, getting a commercial loan won’t be possible without a risk assessment on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. And, if climate risks aren’t already built into your insurance premium, you’re lucky.
Getting a government contract or grant will become increasingly difficult, if you can’t demonstrate how you’re contributing to climate targets and other policy objectives, such as being nature positive, promoting diversity and delivering for local communities. Supplying to companies that care about the sustainability performance of their supply chains will have similar requirements.
Plus, if you want younger people to work for you and buy your products, having a positive purpose and operating sustainably will be selling points.
Irrespective of the cynicism of some, the big environmental and social challenges facing the world aren’t going away. Nor are the risks and opportunities they present for business.
This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.