Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in environmental concerns. As a consequence, investors look beyond the standard elements of evaluating the potential of companies these days.
In the past, most investors reviewed a company’s performance on parameters like economic performance and growth potential. No doubt, they are still relevant. But other factors like ESG have also become a yardstick for gauging a company’s potential and performance for investors. Environmental, Social, and Governance shape the decision of investors at present.
Alongside ESG, most investors also pay attention to the integration of diversity in a business organization. Employees in an organization may think differently and adopt different approaches to discharging their responsibilities. Aligning them together as a cohesive unit is essential for the smooth functioning of a company.
Together, diversity and ESG constitute the core elements for both companies and investors. With regard to companies, the onus is on managers or supervisors to ensure the presence of both elements in contracts. These elements enable investors to predict a company’s compliance checks, expenditure, and diversity before they invest in it.
Why do companies focus on including ESG principles in a contract?
In the current world of globalization, companies enter into contracts or agreements with many entities. These include partners, landlords, suppliers, vendors, and others. In addition, some larger companies also enter into acquisition deals in which they acquire other companies. While it creates opportunities, it also exposes a company to many risks.
In all the aforementioned situations, a company may face three-pronged risks. These include damage to the reputation, a lawsuit, and non-compliance to regulatory requirements. A business organization tries its best to find a solution to mitigate these risks. Usually, a company hires counsel for this purpose.
As far as including ESG principles in a contract is concerned, it is a necessity as it helps a business organization ethically conduct its business. Besides, it also helps a business organization in creating a sustainable business model in the long run.
Why are business organizations keen on diversity and inclusion in ESG?
Have you heard about diversity and inclusion in ESG before? If yes, you may have heard of them in a discussion. Investors associate diversity and inclusion with ESG due to their close relationship with each other. In many ways, both work together to influence the outcomes of a company.
Along with ESG performance, diversity and inclusion help a firm formulate effective strategies. Together, they drive innovation, a higher turnover, and an improvement in issue resolution for the benefit of a company. At the end of the day, the success rate of a firm boils down to its successful formulation and implementation of business strategies. Together with a stellar ESG performance, diversity and inclusion play an important role in it.
To embrace diversity and inclusion in the true sense of the term, a firm must have them in its DNA. The diversity of employees in a business organization may be due to different factors. These include their thought, location, academic qualification, race, and cultural diversity. In some business organizations, employees may also differ from one another in several other aspects.
A business organization, which has diversity, must respect the differences in its employees on the fronts mentioned above. Instead of discriminating against them, it should embrace their diversity and perceive them as a cohesive workforce
If employee diversity is utilized correctly, it can be an asset to a company. A company can utilize the diversity in its employees to its benefit by formulating and implementing a well-planned strategy. The managers or team leaders of a company play a major role in it.
In organizations with wide diversity, patience and active listening are necessary to keep all employees on the same page. Leaders of such companies need to set up the right example through both their words and actions.
In the current phase of globalization, most companies have a diverse base of customers and stakeholders. As such, diversity in the workforce of a globalized organization is of paramount importance to identify the needs of the former and the issues of the latter.
Integrated diversity becomes all the more important because of the growing competition among companies. Environmental and social issues play an important role it. In most cases, both stakeholders and customers check these aspects before investing in a company. These are the factors that encourage investors to invest and remain invested in the products and services of a company. Not incorporating environmental and social issues can hit the reputation of a company very hard.
To capture the market potential at the current rate at which customer requirements are growing, a company needs to emphasize environment-friendly and socially accepted goods and services. Embracing diversity and inclusion can be helpful in this regard. Enhancing the problem-solving abilities of a company aside, they also bring in innovation to benefit it.
A company may have many risks. The only way to mitigate them is to think of an effective and actionable problem-solving strategy. Apart from helping a company formulate and implement an excellent problem-solving strategy, integrated diversity gives it a competitive edge by benefitting its operations. As a spin-off, it also boosts the level of ESG performance.
Why do investors and lenders attach importance to integrated diversity and ESG in contracts?
Investors and lenders consider ESG to be important in contracts for several reasons. The prominent one among them is the growing concern among customers regarding the safety of the environment and the wrongful use of natural resources. Due to this reason, investors are keen on investing in companies that have a sustainable business model.
Investors and lenders know that mid-sized and small business organizations need funds to achieve their targeted goals. But they provide funds to only those companies with a sustainable business model as there is a greater likelihood of such companies achieving more profitable returns. Plus, they also comply with environmental and social norms which reduces the possibility of a lawsuit or any damage to the reputation.
Also, most investors pay attention to the integrated diversity of a firm before deciding on investing their funds in it. They consider integrated diversity to be a significant element for the following reasons:
- Competitive advantage: Sustainability and ethical spending are the two aspects that the majority of investors take into notice these days. For this reason, most companies think about implementing an ESG program. It involves several key parameters like waste management, utility management of automated data, monitoring the emissions of greenhouse gas, and so on. Monitoring these aspects and their accurate analysis provides small and mid-sized business organizations with a competitive advantage.
- Cost reduction: The profit margin of small-sized and mid-sized companies depends on several factors. These include raw materials, treatment/shipping costs, water consumption, and energy consumption. Small and mid-sized companies consider them as key metrics. They plan their budget and improve efficiency by monitoring them. The successful implementation of the ESG program prevents overspending and allows companies to effectively monitor the key metrics. ESG programs promote better risk management and also prevent files or penalties.
- Supply chain prospects: Nothing influences the environment and society as much as the supply chain. Keeping the significance of the latter in mind, acquisition companies do their best to partner with only those vendors and suppliers in the supply chain that have a good track record of adopting and implementing ESG programs. For acquisition firms, it plays a key role in convincing their clients. Partnering with suppliers and vendors that take ESG programs seriously is all the more important for small business organizations as they need funds from investors more urgently than mid-sized and large-sized companies. Given the greater emphasis on vetting these days, investors monitor a company’s compliance with ESG programs with a more critical eye than ever. This aspect goes on to influence their decision of choosing a client company. They also consider the aspect of diversity integration which ensures the partnership of an acquisition firm with a diverse group of suppliers.
- The attraction of talented employees and their retention: More often than not, companies that comply with the requirements of diversity integration turn out to be the ones that have a happy bunch of employees. The teams in such organizations work as a cohesive unit. As such, they are more likely to succeed in accomplishing a task with finesse that needs teamwork. Plus, employees with diverse backgrounds also make way for diverse views and more tolerance in a business organization. A company with such an environment not only attracts new employees but also successfully retains the existing ones.
From the above, it stands out that both integrated diversity and ESG are important for companies as they help them attract investors. As far as investors are concerned, they monitor both these aspects with a critical eye before making their investment decisions. That’s because these aspects help them predict a company’s compliance checks, expenditure, and diversity. As such, companies must include both integrated diversity and ESG in their contracts.