You may have recently heard the term “greenwashing.” It’s a word no one wants their organization’s name tied to – and ESG accountability is key to making sure it’s not.
The key to avoiding the perception of greenwashing is to develop efficient and airtight tracking of ESG and sustainability metrics. This tracking and reporting can accelerate your progress toward ESG goals, so there are no questions when it comes to your ESG compliance.
A look at ESG accountability and compliance
Before understanding greenwashing, it’s important to take a look at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting. Now more than ever, companies need to be accountable in these areas, including demonstrating how they are reducing their negative environmental impacts; how they manage their relationship with employees, suppliers, customers and community; and how the company manages itself, including through executive pay and compliance with regulations and standards.
ESG ratings are becoming standard across the globe, with the European Commission adopting a proposal on corporate sustainability due diligence, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposing rule changes requiring registrants to include climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. Moreover, consumers are becoming more aware of these standards and which companies are putting in an effort to move the needle toward positive change.
How greenwashing follows ESG
With the focus on ESG standards, accusations of greenwashing have followed closely behind. So what exactly is greenwashing? In short, it’s a term used when an organization doesn’t live up to its ESG commitments. This may include making misleading or false statements or, in some cases, trying to cover up the known damages of a product or undertaking.
As shared in this recent article by Forbes, examples of greenwashing might include showcasing the recycle symbol on packages without clearly outlining which pieces can truly be recycled, or companies that claim to offset their carbon footprint by planting trees without actually trying to improve their emissions. On the other side of the spectrum, greenwashing could include companies making false claims to improve their image or cover up the implications of an investment.
Greenwashing may not always be intentional – but whether a company means to or not, the ramifications of perceived greenwashing can hurt the brand, the reputation and the bottom line.
More regulations are predicted
As accusations of greenwashing continue making headlines in the news, governments are tightening standards by creating additional ESG regulations. In this Bloomberg article, “ESG Fund Bosses Hit by ‘Reckoning’ as Goldman, DWS in Crosshairs,” experts share how industries need to get ready for more rigorous ESG regulations.
“There’s ‘a reckoning’ under way,” says Sonali Siriwardena, partner and global head of ESG at the law firm Simmons & Simmons in London. Despite pushing through a ‘tsunami’ of ESG rules, it’s now apparent that ‘regulators aren’t necessarily looking at a grace period’ to allow the industry to adapt.”
Not only will companies and organizations need to protect themselves from perceptions of greenwashing, in some countries they will be required to show their accountability to ESG regulations. Tracking compliance, metrics, improvement initiatives and risk management have never been more important – and DevonWay is ready to bring all of it together through one comprehensive system.
ESG reporting and beyond with DevonWay
Devonway and its suite of products are designed to support regulated, high-risk, and complex organizations by bringing together Asset Management, Quality Management, Environmental Health & Safety, and Workforce Management on one single, secure platform. By combining all aspects of an organization into one streamlined system, oversight is available at your fingertips – including tracking ESG standards and staying true to your commitments.
To become more accountable to ESG standards, a great place to start is with DevonWay’s ESG & Sustainability package. With this bundle of products, you can both track ESG metrics and implement performance initiatives to achieve your goals. Leading standards like GRI, TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), and SASB are built-in, so you can start moving quickly to meet standards. DevonWay’s Metrics & KPIs are used to measure where you are today, so you can leverage fully integrated best-of-breed continuous improvement workflows to accelerate progress. Plus, everyone who needs it will have visibility into the progress with easy-to-use Business Intelligence, and be able to quickly pull reports from anywhere.
This DevonWay solution is about more than meeting standards. We aim to help organizations accelerate their progress in meaningful ways toward meeting goals and living values they believe in. Whether that means reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero, or ensuring their supply chain is socially responsible, our DevonWay products can be packaged to meet each organization’s unique needs, all securely integrated within your other systems to reduce silos (and potential oversights) while moving toward greater improvements.
How can DevonWay help you?
See how DevonWay can support your organization in reaching its ESG goals, and increase efficiency and accountability across all aspects of your work along the way. Request a demo today to understand how we can support you in keeping your ESG goals top-of-mind and within reach. And be sure to join us Thursday, July 28, 2022, from noon-1 p.m. ET / 9-10 a.m. PT for a live webinar about driving ESG and Sustainability Initiatives with DevonWay. Register today!
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