Investors, consumers, and workers alike are increasingly looking for enterprises that make a difference, have a positive impact, and are governed responsibly, with an eye on equity, tolerance, and contributing to the greater social good. A fairer, more sustainable, and more just future is in everyone’s interests, and the business community can be a valuable partner in building that future.
To enable Niagara businesses to go the extra mile in social responsibility, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) and PenFinancial Credit Union have partnered to deliver a free Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) resource website.
As issues like the climate crisis, income inequality, discrimination and bigotry dominate our headlines and our thoughts, (ESG) are increasingly demanded in enterprises. These frameworks help organizations go beyond the vision statement and implement practical policies and changes which are more environmentally responsible, more equitable, and more ethical.
“PenFinancial’s mission to improve lives and strengthen communities has always been at the centre of what we do,” said Theresa Bird, CEO of PenFinancial Credit Union. “We see many local businesses who increasingly want to make a difference, but are unsure where to start, so we were proud to support the creation of this resource.”
“Businesses want to do better for their environment, their customers, and their employees,” said Mishka Balsom, CEO of the GNCC. “They want to govern themselves better and be part of the solution. What we are doing today provides tools with which they can do it. Businesses want to be part of an ethical, sustainable future, and with these resources and the support of our partners, we are helping them do that.”
The ESG tools include information and practical ways in which businesses can reduce their carbon footprints, use more sustainable resources, offer a better workplace for their staff, serve equity-seeking peoples better, support diversity in employment and on their boards, and much more.
To help build and promote these tools, the initiative is also supported by organizations such as Living Wage Niagara, which supports and promotes employers offering wages that allow workers to live, thrive, and participate in their communities; KPMG, which helps companies work towards their ESG goals across the world, and Sustainability Leadership, a non-profit which helps businesses shrink their carbon footprints and environmental impacts.
The site is part of a framework of tools and events to support the development of ESG, such as an upcoming webinar on May 24th focused on environmental sustainability, ethical production, and fairness in the workforce.
The website is now live at gncc.ca/esg and is free to access for all. Registration is also available for our free Introduction to ESG webinar on May 24.