“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just attach it to a new wagon.” – Mark McCormack
Mark McCormack was a versatile man. He was a Yale-educated lawyer, sports agent, and he even qualified for the U.S. Open. When you read his bio, it may seem disjointed because of how varied his careers were. His passions and talents were at the core of everything he did; he simply discovered innovative ways of expressing them and attached new wagons.
The same rationale goes for ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) programs. Most recently ESG transparency and mandatory reporting requirements are becoming increasingly common. Yet environmental, social, and governance concerns are not new! There is no more room for companies without Compliance programs in place and most of the companies already address these three factors in their Code of Conduct & Ethics.
With Mark’s career as proof, two (seemingly) different things share almost identical standards and values.
“Make it simple, but significant.”
Organizations (and thinking back to Mark’s quote), should begin to view the ESG Program as a natural extension of a corporate compliance program.
An ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) program like any other compliance program that includes Data Protection and Privacy, Anti-corruption, Anti-money laundering laws, and Third-Party management, is based on specific laws, regulations and best practices that govern it.
Rather than starting from zero or focusing solely on ESG, dive deeper into your values and policies. Design and create a robust program that is developed to meet all laws and regulation requirements. Implement, communicate and enforce its policies and procedures. Some tools and strategies they employ may differ depending on the requirements—but there are more similarities than differences. Like a Compliance program, specialists and experts have to be involved in the project and apply their expertise to the processes.
As any comprehensive and reliable program the top of an organization establishes the standard. Leadership should know the commonalities amongst these two programs because the entire company will emulate their approach and attitude towards Compliance and ESG topics.
Benefits to Your Organization
Compliance and ESG programs are becoming more and more a prerequisite for conducting business, combining them will make your company’s life easier, and adhering to them is a value-add for your organization. Compliance and ESG programs are very much alike: Companies that promote and follow these program initiatives typically have an easier time retaining good employees and attracting new ones. When a business does the right thing for all compliance matters—including the environment, social, and governance—it really can attract talented people, reliable business partners, and great clients.
Logically, compliance should lead the corporate ESG effort. Though they may appear as two separate initiatives, the skills required to succeed at each are the same. The ESG program requires skills and experience that compliance officers already have.
So why reinvent the wheel?
The success of any compliance program is based on its ability to empower employees to adhere to the policies and procedures that maintain both ethical and legal standards. Prae Venire creates customized Compliance and ESG programs and training sessions for companies like yours. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!