Environment Analyst's latest Insight Briefing provides an update on the key market developments impacting the ESG ecosystem including the proposal of extensive regulations, greater alignment of reporting standards, and the continued acceleration towards global net zero; and how they are manifesting in terms of escalating demand for expertise, which is outpacing the availability of skilled personnel.
We explore how consultancies and their client organisations are looking to scale up and deepen their ESG & sustainability capabilities, featuring insights from distinguished business leaders from across the sector, including:
- Barend van Bergen, sustainability partner, strategy & transactions, EY
- Stefaan van Hooydonk & Rahul Bhatt, cofounders, Earth Academy
- John Kjorstad, COO, KPMG IMPACT
- Harco Leertouwer, managing director Europe, Acre
- Joachim Nahem, CEO, Position Green
"As the demand for analysts, strategists and others knowledgeable about ESG issues has never been higher, it is pivotal for an organisation to ensure they have strong ESG values to win the war for talent"
The 11-page briefing provides insights exploring the following key themes:
- A widely-acknowledged ‘credibility gap’ exists in the chasm between organisations’ ESG & sustainability commitments and their actions, as well as in terms of trust in the supporting data and reporting frameworks, compounding risks of greenwashing
- To some extent this gap is being addressed through moves towards mandatory ESG reporting and harmonisation of standards to elevate corporate non-financial disclosures and accountability on a par with financial reporting
- Such developments also underscore that ESG is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of the breadth and depth of scope, with human rights and nature-related aspects being raised alongside climate-related and net zero risks
- The next frontier is to leverage 'people power' and build expertise to address the ‘capability gap’ which presents a huge challenge in an increasingly sophisticated marketplace that is experiencing a ‘war for talent’ across multiple industry sectors
- These dynamics are seeing many of the consulting majors and other professional service firms committing huge investments to strategic plans involving targeted M&A, mass recruitment, employee training schemes, and higher education collaborations to pivot towards ESG opportunities
- The tendency to overlook softer skills which are sought after as much as the technical in the ESG & sustainability advisory space
- Forward-looking companies recognise competitive advantages that strong ESG values and sustainable purpose bring in terms of talent recruitment and retention, so that the HR function becomes increasingly entwined with corporate sustainability