If you hear the acronym “E-S-G” being bandied about, it’s for a reason. The world is waking up to the fact that traditional business practices are no longer enough to meet the needs of the 21st century. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. Together, they form the foundation for a new set of principles that codify a new way for companies and investors to operate. They also speak to the so-called “intangible” assets within an organization. That can make them hard to measure, and one thing business executives hate are things that are hard to measure.
It seems like every time you look up, some management consultant or business guru is introducing a new concept to supercharge the enterprise. Each new process has had its day in the sun, and an acronym to match. Remember BPR, “Business Process Re-engineering?” Or how about ERP, “Enterprise Resource Planning. And who could forget CRM, “Customer Relationship Management.” Even the folks in the back-office had their three letters. To keep it simple, they called it ABC, “Activity Based Costing.”
If the mere mention of these past activities bore you to death, let me offer hope. ESG is different. It has soul. Got your attention now? Then sit back and listen to my conversation with Steve Okun. He’s been a guest on Inside Asia before. In past episodes, we’ve covered impact investing, US politics, and international trade. Steve has a diversity of talents and interests, but a cornerstone issue for him these days is ESG. He plies his trade by serving as a Senior Advisor with McClarty Associates and chairing the Global Private Capital Association in Southeast Asia.