Now that you’re aware of your baseline ESG status, it’s time to start setting your
objectives and goals so that you know how to focus your efforts moving forward.
It’s a good idea to set up topic-focused working sessions with your key stakeholders
to get them to help you in defining your strategic objectives.
In these sessions, you will cover:
Are there things you’re already doing well that need to be communicated or
This could be something as simple as complying with applicable safety regulations
as this is considered important for the business to maintain, but not something you
would necessarily prioritise resources for in the short-term to get the greatest ESG
value. In this situation, you may decide it’s best to maintain your current efforts so
that you remain in compliance.
Are there any areas where you can make smaller improvements to better align with
your competition, demonstrate your commitment to ESG, and meet expectations
For instance, because human rights are important to your company, you may have
internal inclusion + diversity programs but there isn’t much communication of this
fact to external audiences regarding how and why these are important for your
company. As such, a strategic objective may be to include inclusion and diversity
metrics in external reports and comms such as your website and social channels
and start setting your goals.
Are there any areas where you can double down on your existing effort to move
toward becoming an industry leader in ESG?
Maybe because climate change is an important issue to your company, you’ve
already calculated and communicated your carbon footprint and set greenhouse
gas emissions targets so you add a strategic objective to complete a full
decarbonisation plan and aim for science-based targets. Once your objectives are in place, it is time to set goals!
Goals are a wonderful way to measure the impact of your activities while also
improving company performance and positioning your company well against the
competition. Establishing public goals also ensures that stakeholders are informed
and reinforces your commitment to these ESG initiatives.
When setting goals, consider:
- What context is needed for these goals?
- How will you assess performance?
- How ambitious are you being with your target dates?
- What needs to be done either directly or indirectly?
There are no one-size-fits-all ESG goals because they need to be tailored specifically
for your business and the impact you speak to make.
It’s a good idea to set broad and aspirational goals with supporting sub-goals that
are more tactical and easily attained so that you can complete them and shorter
periods of time. Consider what your goal drivers are when you decide when and how
to communicate those goals externally.
Present a draft of your goals to your leadership team and make sure they are
onboard with your plans.
When you engage the stakeholders early in the process, you get a general idea of
the direction and support that may be required to build programs or resource
And remember, your journey is unique to you