Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.
On May 26, The Globe and Mail Events team hosted the ESG Strategy: Approaches for business leaders webcast, which included a series of discussions led by The Globe’s Sustainable Finance and ESG Reporter, Jeff Jones. ESG (or Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) reporting is quickly becoming a necessity for publicly traded companies, as both investors and the public at large have placed expectations on large organizations to meet the challenges set forth by the ongoing climate crisis, as well as acceptable standards of inclusivity.
Following an opening interview, Jeff Jones was joined by a panel of experts to discuss how companies should approach their ESG reporting in a practical sense, particularly when it comes to actively and legitimately hitting targets for inclusion and diversity. Speakers included IBM Canada’s Sustainability Practice Lead, Ally Karmali; TransAlta’s Executive Vice-President of People, Talent and Transformation, Jane Fedoretz; TD Asset Management’s Vice-President and Director of ESG Research and Engagement, Priti Shokeen; and Niilo Edwards, who is the Executive Director of the First Nations Major Project Coalition (FNMPC).
As live event viewers will have noted, the broadcast unfortunately lost the video feed of our first guest, Milla Craig, as she was answering a final question from Jones during an opening interview regarding investor ESG expectations. Craig, (who is Founder and President of Millani, a consulting firm specializing in ESG), has provided The Globe Events team with a post-webcast written response for the audience. To recap, Jones’s question was: How do companies and organizations maintain and increase their credibility, not just with investors but with the general public, when it comes to ESG issues in general?
Here is Milla Craig’s response:
“Organizations need to be thoughtful, and ultimately be transparent. Since the beginning of this year, we have seen a slew of announcements and commitments to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. That’s a positive indication of intent, but let’s be honest, most management and board members will not be in their positions by then. So who’s accountable for meeting these targets?
What the market wants to see is a plan. From here on out, how will the organization move towards that target of net-zero? What are the capital expenditures needed to arrive there, and the performance indicators that the organization will be held accountable to? The aspiration is great, but both investors and the public are interested in seeing action and transparency to get to those results.”
To see the full webcast, including responses from our panel of experts to Craig’s comments during the opening interview, be sure to check out the video playback of the event below.
The ESG Strategy webcast is part of an ongoing series hosted by The Globe and Mail in partnership with IBM Canada. The next event, focused on the Green Recovery, will take place on June 15. To register for this event, visit the webcast’s website here.