by Ife Akintoye

ESG Labs launches to accelerate ESG compliance in 2023

We hear from Kate Daniels of IASeminars and our Advisory Director, Jamie Benaron, who discuss what ESG Labs is, how it works, the problems it solves, and the key takeaways from attending the workshop. 

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As part of our partnership with IASeminars, we are launching a bespoke service called ESG Labs. ESG Labs is a one-day event designed to help business leaders understand ESG compliance and develop an actionable plan and executable roadmap towards compliance. 

In this video, we hear from Kate Daniels of IASeminars and our Advisory Director, Jamie Benaron, who discuss what ESG Labs is, how it works, the problems it solves, and the key takeaways from attending the workshop. 


Why is ESG important for business leaders in 2023? 

ESG, or environmental, social, and governance, is a top priority for business leaders in 2023 for several reasons. Firstly, the European Union has already implemented mandatory disclosures around ESG, and there are more coming in 2023 with the EU New Deal and EU taxonomy. This increases the list of disclosures that public companies in the EU must comply with, making ESG compliance a top priority. 

Additionally, in April of 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US is expected to release more detailed information on forthcoming mandatory ESG disclosures for public companies, further emphasising the importance of ESG. 

Furthermore, 2023 represents an inflection point as companies are becoming more concerned with ensuring their values align with those of their staff and the aspirations of potential employees. This has led to more consultative conversations between companies and their staff. 

Lastly, 2023 also marks an interesting inflection point in the US as there has been a backlash and resistance to ESG in certain segments of the political and investment environment. Despite this backlash, ESG remains an important part of business differentiation and disclosure, making this time for ESG work and disclosure more fruitful and consequential than ever before. 

What is ESG Labs? 

ESG Labs is a one-day event designed for businesses leaders who want to understand more about ESG, its relevance, and what it means for their particular business and industry. The workshop will provide insights into how to comply with forthcoming ESG regulations from a people, process, and systems perspective. Companies will also gain an understanding of how ready their business is to become compliant in the next few years. 

By the end of the event, they will have an actionable plan and executable roadmap that will enable them to take the first few steps towards ESG compliance. 

How does ESG Labs work? 

ESG Labs works in three sections to leave businesses with a clear plan and roadmap to take the first few steps towards ESG compliance. Firstly, we will gather any pre-work done on ESG and begin the day with visioning, bringing ideas, thought leadership, and assets on the art of the possible in ESG and what others in the market are doing towards compliance. 

Next, we will conduct a rapid deep dive assessment of the business and finance department's current readiness for ESG compliance. Finally, we will develop a clear roadmap and plan that clients can take away from the day to help them become ESG compliant. 

 What problems does ESG Labs solve? 

ESG Labs offers solutions to various problems related to ESG. The first problem it solves is compliance, as those in a company who are responsible for complying with forthcoming ESG disclosure requirements can benefit from the ESG Labs experience. The second area of benefit is operational efficiency. This includes anyone responsible for ensuring that inputs in the company are used in the most efficient way possible, and that the company operates in a way that is consistent with international responsible investment principles, while also considering its own bottom line. 

The third problem that ESG Labs solves is related to capital raising. There is a strong link between a company's ESG performance, its ESG story, its communications protocol, and its ability to mobilise capital. Therefore, those who are looking to leverage their ESG story in a way that allows them to fundraise and mobilise resources will find this an important part of the conversation. 

Finally, ESG performance is crucial in creating an efficient, successful, and harmonious work environment. A significant part of the ESG Labs workshop focuses on staff attraction and retention. It helps companies attract and retain the right kind of talent who are conscious of their role in the professional environment and the extent to which their values are aligned with their profession. 

What are the key takeaways of ESG Labs? 
An ESG Labs workshop delivers insights in three core areas. Firstly, they will benefit from ESG thought leadership between IASeminars and VantagePoint. Secondly, businesses can expect real alignment of their team around ESG objectives and goals. Thirdly, they will leave with a genuinely executable plan of action that they can start to work with. 

In today's world, integration is the norm, and it is no longer acceptable to issue core financial statements in one piece of communication to shareholders and then issue an ESG report in a disjointed way. Professionals attending the ESG labs experience will gain an understanding of the ways in which financial information and ESG information are linked, and that a holistic story of a company must represent both financial information and disclosures related to environmental, social, and governance issues. 

Telling the whole story of a company involves both the financial and the ESG story, which shows how the company creates an impact and contributes to the world. 

Who will benefit the most from this service? 

Many people believe that the ESG disclosure requirements will mainly affect industries with high-impact operations, such as mining, oil and gas, forestry, and agriculture. However, all verticals and sectors will be impacted by forthcoming ESG disclosure requirements. The difference is that the disclosures will vary depending on the industry in which the company operates. 

For instance, a mining or an oil and gas company's required disclosure will be more detailed and rigorous than that of a financial services or an insurance company, as each industry has different ESG triggers and materials. Therefore, regardless of industry, it is essential to pay attention to forthcoming ESG disclosure requirements. 

Why should people choose VantagePoint and IASeminars for ESG services? 

VantagePoint brings a unique perspective to the table, with experience in both finance and technology, and expertise in integrating ESG reporting into the broader reporting environment. IASeminars has years of experience providing education and training around accounting and finance, as well as ESG. Together, we offer a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical execution, as well as a harmonious joining of forces. This makes us an ideal choice for those seeking ESG services that bridge the gap between strategy and execution. 

As part of this initiative, our partnership will provide businesses with actionable and useful content, such as blog posts, videos, resources and webinars.   

The first webinar, Five steps to building your ESG management strategy, led by Kate and Jamie, provides registrants with clarity about why ESG is important to your business, as well as actionable tips on taking your first steps towards ESG compliance:  

  Access the webinar as well as lots more relevant content

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