Robert Smith on Aligning ESG and Compliance [Podcast]


Post By: Adam Turteltaub

With the increasing attention paid to Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), questions have arisen as to what should be the relationship between compliance and ESG efforts. Some have argued for compliance to oversee ESG, while others see them as distinctly different endeavors.

Robert Smith [LinkedIn], Director, Business Compliance and Ethics for Serco Group plc provides his first-hand experience and insights in this podcast and will be sharing additional thoughts at the 2022 SCCE European Compliance & Ethics Institute.

ESG is not new to Serco since it had long been tracking the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement, which was in many ways ESG’s predecessor.

The more structure approach of ESG, he believes, is a natural progression. There are accounting standards and a growing body of laws and regulations.

To meet the organization’s ESG goals, the company has developed a clear framework with individuals responsible for ownership of the various elements of the company’s ESG efforts.  Each of these owners has clear KPIs. There is a structured reporting process that pull together strands from across the organization.

Robert, and compliance’s role, is to ensure the integrity of the reporting, as well as to connect the dots between the various reports. They are all assessed for materiality and eventually make their way into annual reporting.

Compliance is well suited to this role, he believes, both at Serco and likely elsewhere.  Compliance professionals are adept at helping create transparent structures and turning external frameworks into internal processes. In addition, with increased regulation of ESG and more and more laws addressing ESG-related issues, involvement of compliance teams is more than inevitable.

Listen in to learn more about the role of compliance in ESG efforts, including how to work with other stakeholders. Then be sure to join us at the 2022 SCCE European Compliance & Ethics Institute.