Board Converting News, April 4, 2022

Tackling Environmental, Social And Governance Metrics (ESG) BY MARY DRAIN

employees and the communities they impact. Business Roundtable members are CEOs of leading U.S. companies that collectively represent every sector of the economy. The financial aspect of ESG is a set of standards for company operations that helps investors make strategic and socially conscious decisions about where to put their money. According to Investopedia, using ESG criteria is an increasingly popular way for investors to evaluate compa- nies in which they might want to invest. And it helps them strategically assess companies that could pose greater fi- nancial risk due to their ESG practices. The SEC is promoting ESG through the financial mar- kets by proposing to mandate disclosure of climate-relat- ed financial risks. And is “taking steps to bring the United States into parity with other advanced economies … to ad- dress the issue of global climate change.” (See National Law Review article from March 11, or WSJ March 21.) Climate risk, regulatory pressures, data security and

If your company hasn’t already created environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, you might want to

get that started. 57 percent of chief financial officers in a 2021 Q3 CFO Grant Thornton LLP survey have made it a priority to invest in ESG efforts since the start of 2020. This reflects the change that Business Roundtable made to their Principles of Corporate Gov- ernance, from describing the pur-

pose of a corporation as principally serving sharehold- ers to benefiting all stakeholders - including consumers, Mary Drain

consumers wanting to buy from companies that share their values are all reasons to be- gin tackling ESG at your company. On top of that, your customers may be asking you to reveal environmental impacts. That said, in the same survey, 70 percent of respondents reported being worried that talent shortages jeopardize their ability to meet short-term strategies. 49 percent in- dicated that attracting and retaining talent was a top priority. “ESG isn’t just something you worry about with investors, customers and regulators,” … “Employees want to work for employers that share their values, em- brace diversity and demonstrate real care for their well-being and advancement.” Metrics are constantly evolving so it’s critical to begin to create your own metrics that will drive your performance and social responsibility. So, how do you start? A re- cent Forbes article has five steps that help: 1. Choose a framework/regulating body. 2.Get support from leadership. 3. Create an ESG committee. 4. Develop measurable criteria & goals. 5. Document and communicate. The time is now to begin laying the groundwork for your ESG initiatives. ESG will become a core part of doing business and you have an opportunity and motiva- tion to get started. Mary Drain is the Director of Technical Services at Fibre Box Association (FBA), a non-profit trade association that represents North American corrugated packaging manufacturers and strives to grow, protect and enhance the overall well-being of the industry through member-valued programs and services. E-mail

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April 4, 2022

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