The relationship between ESG and compliance is as of yet not a fully defined one. That’s not surprising given both the newness of ESG and the many similarities between it and compliance.
While many see an overlap between the two, Reginald Youngblood, Associate Vice President Corporate Compliance at AT&T, sees more of an overlay with existing frameworks for managing risks. As with other risk areas, there is a need to look at the financial impact, how often it occurs, the inherent risk and how it affects the business.
He also observes that, like compliance, ESG touches an enormous cross section of the enterprise, albeit in a somewhat different way. By becoming involved with ESG the compliance team, he believes, can have more contact with the organization as a whole, address issues in a new way and help define what ESG means to the organization.
This approach has enabled the AT&T compliance team to open doors and become an active partner in projects that they never would have been asked to be a part of before. In addition, it has provided compliance with greater visibility into the organization while acting as a bridge between compliance and the business.
As a side benefit, the compliance team has also discovered new repositories of data within the firm, enabling it to better assess risk.
In the end, he sees the relationship between ESG and compliance as a very happy one with great opportunity, earning compliance a seat at the table while creating greater appreciation for the risk management process and the focus on values and integrity that have long been a staple of compliance programs.
Listen in to learn more about how to leverage the relationship with ESG.