Is ESG the most important development for public relations in 50 years?

Today on the PRmoment podcast, I’m talking to Matt Peacock, partner at Blurred, about something that I suspect six months ago few of us had heard of no not Covid, but ESG! Environmental, Social, and Governance refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an organisation.

Matt is a partner at Blurred, an ex-corporate affairs director at Vodafone, and visiting professor at Henley Business School.

Here’s a summary of what Matt and I discussed:

2.03 mins Why is ESG the most important development for public relations and business in the last 50 years?

2.13 mins How ESG is a way to assess the environment and governance risk of business.

3.33 mins Why ESG is a mindset change for business risk management – it forces companies to think about the risk of a company to the outside world. 

6.20 mins Purpose is about how a company proves it does good.

7.55 mins How ESG now forms part of any standards assessment of any institutional investor framework.

08.17 mins How, to be an ESG leader, as a business, you have to have mature ESG governance processes.

08.35 mins Why companies that have a strong ESG performance have a significant cost of borrowing advantage.

11 mins For example, in the US, the cost of capital is 1% cheaper and the cost of debt 0.8% cheaper if you have a high ESG rating. So that adds up if you have $40bn of debt.

13.30 mins There is a lot of evidence that companies with a high ESG raring are more resilient.

14 mins Where within a company do you need to make progress to increase your ESG rating?

14.30 mins How ESG is an amalgamation of things – so you can’t sort it all out at once. And Matt explains how the Sustainability Accounting Standards  Board (SASB) has become the standard way to assess and measure ESG performance.

18.54 mins Matt predicts that ESG will become the pre-eminent disciple for the corporate affairs profession, worldwide.

19 mins Why the corporate affairs department is central to ESG.

19.20 mins Why ESG has no one owner within a business.

21.50 mins Why the assessment of ESG scores is the wild west!

24 mins How the subjectivity of many of ESG’s KPIs is still a challenge.

24 mins The scramble within the advisory world to be seen as the ESG experts: law firms, accountancy firms, management consultants and communication advisors are all targeting this space.

25.30 mins Why the importance of the communications of ESG means PR firms are well-positioned to lead ESG consultancy.

28 mins Where do you go to learn more about ESG?

29.20 mins What ESG consultancy looks like.  


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