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‘Stakeholders’ engagement on ESG, business sustainability drives healthy performance’

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Companies that constantly engage with the right stakeholders and also incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues with the right strategies in their organisations, would stand out to investors, customers, employees and community they operate, experts have said.The experts argued that ESG is no longer an option for organisations, but a necessity to engage with the right stakeholders to create organisational values.

Environmental, Social and Governance refers to the inclusion of traditionally non-financial topics within investment decision-making.
At the yearly conference of Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Lagos State Chapter, company secretaries were urged to incorporate ESG in their day-to-day activities to drive the interest and investment on sustainability for the mutual benefit of their organisation and investors.

Experts said the benefits are pertinent, as leading sustainability businesses display high levels of competence in addressing global and industry challenges.Speaking on, “The Impact of ESG Issues and Strategies on Business Sustainability,” Chief Compliance Officer/Company Secretary, Oando Plc., Ms Ayotola Jagun, noted that stakeholders’ engagement on sustainability is the process used by organisations for a purpose to achieve stable outcome and enhanced accountability.

According to her, ESG help companies to identify and quantify risks that are often overlooked by traditional financial members.This, she said, has to do with the company’s impact on the environment, community issues, child labour and modern day slavery among others.

Speaking on how ESG can impact organisations, Jagun stressed that companies seeking capital must incorporate ESG in the way they do business. “To drive long term objectives, the company needs to embrace stakeholders’ communications and engagement, ensure ESG are enacted into the company’s strategy, have a non-executive director with sustainability champion for the organisation, and get training for your board to understand sustainability.”

Earlier, ICSAN’s Lagos Chapter Chairman, Francis Olawale, said there should be policies on sustainability with better orientation, monitoring and education.He said: “As business people we should ensure we are sensitive to external factors around our work areas, which might impact negatively to our businesses.“If you are pursuing profitability without concerns of the critical stakeholders that surrounds your business, it is to your detriment which might be frustrated.”


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Francis OlawaleICSAN
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