The ‘how’ just as important as the ‘why’ in sustainability

When it comes to sustainability and ESG, the how matters as much as the why.

Your purpose and core business may aspire to a positive impact on people or the planet, but if you’re doing harm in the process, workers, customers, investors and social licence generally will be increasingly difficult to come by.

The decarbonisation of road transport is critical, but electric vehicle companies should expect to be marked down for poor labour standards in manufacturing or their mineral supply chains.

Large scale renewables projects will be hugely important to the energy transition, but ensuring they are developed in partnership with the Traditional Owners of the vast areas of land they require will be critical to their timely development.

While we need a massive ramp up in mining to feed the mineral requirements of the energy transition, doing this in a way that results in biodiversity loss and deforestation, as well as the associated release of the enormous sums of carbon sunk in our native forests, will be seen as counterproductive.

The companies that deliver the most positive environmental and social impacts will be those that combine a positive purpose with high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in execution.

In turn, these companies will de-risk their operations, build social license and create value through enhanced reputation and stakeholder trust.

The how is just as important as the why.

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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