Posts Tagged ‘ESG’

In the globalised world, issues such as demographic change, global poverty, environmental degradation or developing a skilled workforce for the knowledge-based economy become increasingly intertwined and extend across national borders and industrial sectors. Tackling them effectively requires joint action from companies, governments, stakeholders and the civil society. Faced with today’s complex environmental and socio-economic challenges, progressive companies are gearing up for a CSR approach focused on cooperation and innovation.

Through active engagement in Enterprise 2020, many enterprises and stakeholders are able to lead on collaborative projects and in doing so, develop though leadership and practical tools for companies and their stakeholders. In this respect, under the umbrella of Enterprise 2020, CSR Europe has prioritised six focus topics for the period 2011-2013. 

1. Supply Chain and Human Rights

Key EU and international frameworks have prioritized human rights and responsible supply chains for businesses – and particularly European and European-based companies. Despite the business sensitivities around human rights and supply chain issues, companies need to take a proactive approach to address the risks and opportunities of CSR and human rights in their operations.

2. Health and Wellbeing

Health literacy activities in the business context create value not only for employees, but also for businesses. By investing in a health- friendly work environment, businesses can increase employee well- being and productivity, thus reducing absences and lowering costs. Businesses play an important role not only as employers, but also as advocates for health in society. Technology and social networking can raise awareness and health literacy of employees and society as a whole, fostering a healthier lifestyle for all.

3. Ageing and Demographic Change

The European population is shrinking and ageing at the same time. The number of those older than 55 years is steadily growing, while all younger age groups are shrinking:

  • Fertility rates in most EU member states have remained below replacement levels developed countries over the past 30 years.
  • Individuals aged 50 and over already represent 20%. The number of people over 60 years will increase by 2 million every year.
  • Eurostat predicts a possible labour supply shortage of 15% by 2050, which represents an unemployment gap of 35 million people.

In light of these demographic changes, it is crucial for business, policy makers, and society at large to radically change their entrenched ways of thinking.

4. ESG Disclosure and Reporting

Research continually shows that CEOs and investors regard valuation of non-financial performance as a crucial issue. However, companies are slow to integrate non-financial performance (NFP) measurements into mainstream business strategy internally and to communicate it externally; and investors are slow to incorporate non-financial indicators into valuation models. ESG factors are nevertheless seen as key drivers of NFP and they contribute to the company’s ESG strategy.

5. Financial Education

Across Europe people are unable to save enough money for their retirement as countries face an unprecedented pension’s gap. Two financially vulnerable groups that stand out are young adults and pre-retirees. In several European countries, state retirement ages are being increased while provisions of defined benefit pensions are being decreased. This is also leading to more individualised pension decisions.

 6. Base of the Pyramid

Many companies are seeking to create new business models and partnerships which aim to alleviate poverty and deliver economic results through ‘Base of the Pyramid’ strategies. However, there is scope for better understand how to successfully develop and maintain effective cross-sector and multi-stakeholder approaches that partner with BoP groups in a mutually inclusive value chain.

To read more about other Enterprise 2020 projects, driven by CSR Europe’s members and national partners, please click here.


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