The third leg of ESG is more important than we think

By: STA Date: 2022. 11. 03. 10:27

Among the ESG, i.e. environmental, social and management aspects aimed at sustainable development, the first two receive a lot of attention, while G is often forgotten. Indeed, what sustainability goals the company formulates and what and how they are realized largely depends on how the company operates, how transparent and regulated it is, and how the company’s managers and employees participate in decision-making and implementation. Therefore, G is not an element that can be omitted, but a condition for the successful fulfillment of the E and S approach – says József Végh, head of K&H HR.

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We regularly hear about the E and S sides of ESG principles, companies are making more and more environmental and social commitments. On the other hand, there is almost no mention of G, i.e. the role and importance of management. Indeed, the designation of sustainability objectives and their implementation depend on this. “The third component of ESG, the management side, means that the company operates in a regulated, legal and transparent manner. And this is of crucial importance from the point of view of the realization of the sustainability objectives, because it makes the commitments and the steps for their implementation realistic and real. In practice, this can be achieved if all levels and interest groups of the organization are involved in the implementation of the sustainability goals: from the establishment of the basic principles to the designation of those responsible to the implementation and measurement,” explains József Végh, K&H’s HR director. “Therefore, it is important to involve colleagues in the development and implementation of environmental and social activities, taking into account equal opportunities between men and women and the importance of different social and cultural groups.”

Employees should not be just executors

A significant number of companies have already gotten to the point where they involve employees in their responsibility programs – be it painting a kindergarten or renovating a playground. This is also important from the point of view of motivating employees, since if they do something for a good cause on behalf of the company, it makes them more motivated and committed. However, it is not possible to stop here, it is worth asking the opinion of the employees and reporting the feedback to the management. In this way, the employees feel that their insights are important, they are integrated into the company’s programs, which increases their commitment even more.

“At K&H, one of the working groups of the Sustainability Program Office, which brings together sustainability activities, pays special attention to the involvement of colleagues. In this way, the employees themselves can make suggestions and develop the implementation steps to encourage the responsible behavior of the employees”, József Végh introduces. The management of the company can solicit the opinions of colleagues in a number of ways, on the basis of which it can refine sustainability initiatives and help their successful implementation. Questionnaires and employee discussion forums are open to everyone, but for those who are most interested in the topic, it is worth creating even a “green team”, who can actively participate in the definition of the objectives with their suggestions and comments, and during implementation, they can help involve other colleagues in the programs as a kind of opinion leader.

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