connectUS 2023 uses the ESG framework as a basis for a viable concept to inspire change for a shared future. But what is ESG and why has it become so relevant? Or is it merely used for corporate self-promotion and company image boosting? Read our article to see what is behind this debated topic! 

ESG – The driver behind connectUS 2023. But what is it? Why has it gained so much attraction in the last few years? We deliver the answers!

Does this sound familiar to you? “Good for Business, Good for the Planet?” or “The decisions we make shape the world we live in”. We all have heard these kinds of promising and promotional messages from multinational corporations, but can these visions of a green future be kept, or do they serve as self-promotion and boost corporate storytelling? According to a study by PWC about global financial institutions around the world, in the past, the winners were not the leaders in implementing ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) but rather those who could tell a more convincing story to the market.  

However, more and more, the winners will be those who have a credible ESG story and a credible approach to ESG reporting. But the trend is clear, with increasing regulation, pressure from the public, constantly published reports on environmental degradation and expectations for equality and greater equity. Two-thirds of institutional investors believe that strong governance and sustainability standards will become the “industry standard” within five years. Many consumers already prefer brands that address ESG issues in a way that aligns with their own values. So far so good but what are now the tangible advantages for businesses and societies when following an ESG strategy? And what exactly is an ESG strategy?  

An ESG plan provides companies with a baseline to identify progress toward sustainability goals. Companies receive measurable information on the value of their efforts, which can lead to benefits such as enhanced competitiveness, better stakeholder alignment, and eventually long-term business success that is not just about the bottom line, but also about making the world a better place. Let’s consider the following question: Who would you trust more? A company that keeps a low profile about its emissions, tax payments and the working conditions of its employees or one that actively and publicly campaigns for a better, shared future for everyone on our planet? Yes, we thought so too. One example of a multinational company, which thinks this way is based in Redmond, Seattle in the United States. None other than Microsoft, which is a very ambitious advocate of ESG values. They have discovered the potential of ESG and want to profit from it in the coming decades. 

Microsoft has set itself the goal of being carbon negative by 2030 i.e., removing Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. They place special emphasis on promoting and supporting sustainable development and low-carbon business parts worldwide. Furthermore, 24 petabytes (you could save the entire English Wikipedia 288.000 times!!!) of environmental and Earth observation data, generated by the tech company, are made available to help the conservation community in their research. Another far reaching goal of Microsoft, is that by 2050 they want to have removed all carbon dioxide ever emitted by the company to the earth’s atmosphere.

Adopting ESG, has a positive impact for all of us. Improved waste management, labor standards, data protection, reporting and disclosure are just a few examples of how companies are making themselves fit for the future.  

Have we sparked your interest? Do you also want to contribute to finally turn words into action and inspire a change together with us? Then come on board to connectUS and follow us on an exciting and educational journey over 2022 and 2023. We will be providing regular and meaningful insights on best practices from Switzerland and North America and how ESG helps us inspire change for a shared future. Follow us on social media and visit our homepage to get the latest news around ESG and our prestigious project.  

Your connectUS23 team.  

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