ESG From A Social Perspective

Social Governance

Taking Social Responsibility

2020 has been a tumultuous year, and with it, companies have had to adapt to the changes from COVID-19 and the ongoing BLM movement. Before, business leaders would look at issues such as these and separate the current social issues from the workplace. That methodology is no longer applicable as far as ESG reporting and investors are concerned. Businesses can no longer afford the luxury of remaining silent on issues that impact their employees’ day-to-day lives. 

With COVID-19 continuing to sweep the nation, many businesses adapted to working from home, but what other measures did they take? While you, as the business owner, know, do your shareholders and stakeholders know what actions were implemented to adjust to working remotely, and why you implemented them?

The "why" is significant when it comes to ESG reporting. Being transparent and stating what you have done is essential, but investors and stakeholders want to know why you took those measures or created that change. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Watermark shifted to an entirely remote work-from-home model. We did so to keep our employees safe, but we didn't just stop there. We implemented weekly checkups to ensure our employees' mental health is taken care of, along with numerous other measures and intermittent “virtual team-building” activities. 

When the BLM protests started around the country, we took the opportunity to declare our support and partnered with a charity to embrace diversity and make our communities stronger. 

Those are just some of the things we have done recently at Watermark to address our social responsibility as a company. 

From the Social aspect of ESG, it is more important than ever for businesses to act and base decisions around these issues for the benefit of their company, investors, and stakeholders. Companies that do not act due to ignorance or silence regarding these issues see a loss of revenue and investment.

Now that the ball is in your court, it is time to address what your company will do and why you need to:

  • Be socially responsive to the current issues, and 

  • Showcase how you will adapt for future ones. 

Investors want to see what actions you will take regarding current social issues to ensure your company fits their criteria for a worthwhile investment. Stakeholders, the public, and your employees want to feel appreciated and know that you have their best interests in mind, and at heart.

The most important takeaway from creating the Social part of your ESG is that you need to believe in your actions and show them truthfully and transparently. As a company, you have to be more than just all-talk, or your report and words will come across as hollow.

Actions speak louder than words

AdAge, an advertising news source for industry leaders in the marketing and media industry, put together a great resource of a collection of companies and brands that all promoted a positive message during the BLM movement. Instead of just relying on words, each company took action in its unique way to address the problems and showcase how they are moving forward and growing as a company. 

Social responsibility is a portion of what an ESG report can do for your company and your investors. Investors have confidence in companies that ensure social responsibility and fair treatment of human rights not only in the workplace but in their communities. By arming investors with this information, you are giving them the reasons why they should invest in your company.

Get started today by downloading our PDF and joining us on this journey to better communicate your company’s ESG intentions.