Transparency and Disclosure - necessary but not sufficient
In our last post, we introduced The Evolution of Sustainability Helix - an overview of where we started, where we are and where we're heading.
Moving from a license to operate to purpose
Following some noteworthy environmental and community disasters, corporates woke up to regulation and high reputational risks. At this point, extraction was still the name of the game - but recognising the imposed regulatory limits. While this was a key starting point and businesses were required to become compliant, business models remained fundamentally unchanged.
A wider range of stakeholder began recognising that this was far from enough and began demanding more transparency. In a time where ESG benchmarks and reporting tools were non-existent, we fast forward to our current state of a fairly large benchmark industry. We have learned time and time again, though, that there rarely ever is a"silver bullet" solution.
Amit Bouri, CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network, during the recent Out Leadership Europe Summit cautions that while this is a noteworthy step forward, disclosure is not the end-game:
‘Disclosure of ESG metrics is establishing a floor on data and disclosure. The allure and temptation of disclosure is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that things are better...people have to act on the data that they report. It is an important first step as long as it is not the last step.’