ESG has exploded, but what is it and what is the role for compliance teams? Lisa Beth Lentini Walker (LinkedIn), CEO & Founder of Lumen Worldwide Endeavors and a member of the board of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics & Health Care Compliance Association provides her answers in this podcast.
ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance, she explains, is very much an evolution of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement. It focuses beyond shareholder value and looks at the role of the organization much more broadly, including who and what it is accountable to.
ESG does not work as an independent initiative, she warns. Instead, it must be integrated into operations, much like privacy or safety. It needs to be aligned with how the organization operates in the world and, importantly, the company’s values.
Because it is so broad in its sweep, encompassing a wide range of compliance issues such as human trafficking and rights, bribery, environmental laws, non-discrimination, and anticorruption, it’s a natural area for the compliance team to get involved. But, ESG goes beyond the legal requirements and encourages organizations to set a higher floor for its behavior, which is, of course, very reminiscent of ethics programs.
So where do compliance and ethics teams fit? They need to be a part of the solution, providing rigor around metrics and risk assessment. Compliance professionals also need to be present to advocate for values-driven decision making here, as elsewhere.
Listen in to learn more about ESG, compliance and the relationship between them.