Corporate responsibility, sustainable investment, net-zero targets, community action. Businesses today have many different ways in which they describe doing good. It’s not always easy to define what impact looks like or how it embeds into wider business strategies.
During our panel discussion this month, ISG offered their expertise to explore what each area of E, S and G means for businesses and charities. The panel offered great insight into what’s important, why and how they are encouraging change within their sector.
ESG has developed from a range of CSR and environmental initiatives within the corporate sector, considering both business response to the climate crisis and alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Companies know that there is a strong business case for establishing and building Environment, Social and Governance targets and objectives.
My takeaway from the session was the importance and often less attractive area of ESG, Governance. If businesses are serious about embedding sustainable development, they need a governance framework that translates outside of ESG teams and charity partners, to every department of the business.
I was also reminded how much knowledge sits within the charity sector, and as commented by an attendee, how much value there is in our expertise. The NCVO recently reported that ‘73% of charities say they cannot meet the current demand for the public services they deliver with the funding they receive. A further 40% said their grants or contracts never covered the true costs of delivery, and 44% said their costs had not been covered since at least 2020′. There are great opportunities for businesses to partner with the expertise and resources in the charity sector. Gordon Brown recently noted this in an article in The Guardian on the cost of living crisis. ELBA continues to represent what charity and business partnerships can deliver, with our aim being that more of our community partners can be valued and highlighted through our programmes and opportunities ongoing.
ELBA’s Connect team delivers many programmes that not only offer skills-based volunteering opportunities, but also frameworks for building communication, leadership and problem-solving skills for businesses. As we finish the year we are excited about the new ways we are engaging volunteers in skills-based activities. Moving into 2024 we will continue to share where businesses can utilise our offering not just within ESG, community impact, or CSR but across wider learning and development frameworks for their business that offer a contribution to their governance structures.
What’s up first? We will be recruiting for Leaders in Partnership’s Spring Cohort 2024 and BoardMatch23 both launching in March. If your team want to support a skilled activity that works with the charity sector, get in touch to see what else we have to offer.