Social - Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce


The social aspect of ESG focuses on how companies impact employees, customers, and the community. A company that prioritizes its social impact will foster strong relationships with its stakeholders, creating a positive reputation that can attract and retain customers, employees, and investors while also supporting the community as a whole. Moreover, social responsibility can create value for companies by reducing risks, improving financial performance, and creating opportunities for innovation and growth. Therefore, a strong social aspect of ESG is essential for companies to achieve long-term success, sustainability, and positive social impact. Key social aspects include:

  1. Engaging in philanthropy and community building
  2. Strengthening relationships with suppliers and stakeholders
  3. Committing to transparent sustainability and operational reporting so as to inspire confidence and trust

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Philanthropy and community building

Incorporating philanthropy and community building into an organization’s sustainability strategy can help drive positive change and support the achievement of ESG goals. Companies can engage in philanthropy and community building in several ways, including:

  1. Supporting local charities and non-profit organizations through financial contributions or volunteer efforts.
  2. Encouraging employees to volunteer and get involved in their communities.
  3. Developing community programs that address local needs and promote social impact.
  4. Engaging in sustainable community development initiatives, such as supporting local small businesses or investing in affordable housing.
  5. Providing in-kind donations, such as surplus goods or services, to support community needs.
  6. Partnering with other companies, government entities, and non-profits to pool resources and maximize impact.
  7. Encouraging employees to donate to charitable causes and matching their contributions.
  8. Establishing a corporate foundation or other giving program to support social and community initiatives.

Supplier and stakeholder relationships

Suppliers are a crucial link in the supply chain, and their sustainability practices can significantly impact a company’s overall sustainability performance. By fostering strong relationships with suppliers, companies can work together to identify areas for improvement, share best practices, and collaborate on sustainability initiatives. Similarly, stakeholder relationships play a crucial role in an organization’s sustainability strategy. Stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, and the broader community, can influence a company’s reputation, financial performance, and social impact.

  1. Establishing clear ESG expectations and requirements for suppliers, and regularly assessing and monitoring their performance.
  2. Engaging suppliers in ESG training and education to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices.
  3. Collaborating with suppliers on joint sustainability initiatives, such as waste reduction programs or renewable energy projects.
  4. Encouraging suppliers to report on their ESG performance, and using this information to make informed purchasing decisions.
  5. Building partnerships with stakeholders, such as customers, non-profits, and government entities, to address ESG challenges and opportunities.
  6. Engaging stakeholders in regular dialogue and consultations to understand their ESG expectations and incorporate their feedback into ESG initiatives.
  7. Sharing information and best practices on ESG performance with stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, investors, and employees.
  8. Collaborating with industry peers and trade associations to drive ESG best practices and systemic change.

Sustainability and operational reporting

By implementing sustainable practices in their operations, companies can save costs, increase resilience, and enhance their reputation. Reporting sustainability, on the other hand, involves measuring and disclosing an organization’s sustainability performance to stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and employees. By transparently reporting their sustainability performance, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and attract stakeholders who prioritize sustainability in their decision-making

  1. Developing a sustainability strategy that aligns with the company’s goals and values, and sets measurable targets for reducing environmental impact and promoting social responsibility.
  2. Incorporating sustainability considerations into decision-making processes, such as considering the lifecycle impact of products and materials.
  3. Implementing environmentally friendly practices, such as reducing energy use, conserving resources, and reducing waste.
  4. Encouraging suppliers and partners to adopt sustainable practices.
  5. Measuring and reporting on sustainability performance, including carbon emissions, resource usage, and waste generation.
  6. Engaging with stakeholders, such as customers, investors, and employees, to understand their sustainability expectations and incorporate their feedback into sustainability initiatives.
  7. Continuously reviewing and updating sustainability practices to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.
  8. Disclosing sustainability information in annual reports, sustainability reports, and other communications, using recognized sustainability reporting frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Employees and volunteers are the most important stakeholders of any organization. Fair treatment of employees, respect for their rights, and promotion of a positive work environment improves staff morale, reduces turnover and absenteeism, and helps attract new talent.

For more information, please see our Labour Practices page.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Please check our our Resources page for additional information.

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Please note, all information is accurate as of date posted. Policies may have updated or changed since posting date. Please refer to your own company’s policies and procedures in all cases.