Last week we introduced the topic of ESG and shared why it has become a business-critical topic. In the second part of our two-part series, we take the ESG report a level deeper by talking with WEX HR representatives Kate Levesque and Michelle Braden, who worked directly with our report. How were they involved? And why is this something every HR team should be thinking about? Keep reading to learn more or watch our Benefits Buzz episode below.
The ESG report from an HR perspective
The ESG report is an opportunity for HR leaders to tell their company’s story, especially in relation to people and culture. Coming from a health and welfare perspective, our HR team was heavily involved in the social and governance parts of the report. By discussing healthcare access, affordability, and employee health and safety, they showed how we’re meeting employees’ needs and how we’ll continue to meet these needs in the future. And from a governance aspect, they shared what we’re doing to develop our leaders so that we have appropriate governance in the company.
“When we get to express what we’re doing as a company with regard to how we’re developing our leaders, how we’re growing them, and how we’re holding them accountable, I get really passionate about it,” said Braden on our Benefits Buzz podcast. “Once you have better leaders, you have a better business. It was good to be involved in this and to be able to tell our story.”
Considering more than 90% of S&P 500 companies publish ESG reports in some form, there are a variety of reasons why ESG reports have become such a trending topic for HR teams. ESG reports have become more relevant than ever before with all of the uncertainty and changes happening in our world today, and people want to know what companies are doing to handle these environmental, social, and governance changes. ESG reports can also be a great tool for retaining and attracting talent since they show the full picture of your company to current and prospective employees.
HR’s role in ESG reporting
HR provides the details behind the ESG report. There are many projects and plans happening behind the scenes at your company that many employees don’t know about. The ESG report is an opportunity to peel back the curtain and show the great work you’ve done, what you’re currently working on, and what you’re planning for the future.
And by sharing your ESG report externally, other companies can see what you’ve been doing and compare themselves to your progress. Viewing other companies’ ESG reports within your industry can help you grow and innovate as well. By being transparent about your work through an ESG report, you’re providing a great learning tool for both your internal and external audiences.
Even though creating an ESG report is a bit of a time commitment, our HR team agrees that their passion for this project made time fly by. Getting the chance to highlight all of your company’s efforts and seeing your projects all weave together to create one amazing story makes the extra effort completely worth it.
Using ESG reports to plan ahead
Not only is an ESG report a fantastic way to look back on your accomplishments from the past year, but it’s also a helpful planning tool for the next year. What can your company do to become more innovative in the next year? What conversations should you start having to continue building on your ESG reports year after year?
“The ESG report is a finding of everything you’ve done and then asking yourself about what is next,” said Levesque on our podcast. “What makes it successful is the team approach and the collaboration…I think we all feel invested in it and it’s a great feeling to be a part of.”
Download WEX’s 2021 ESG Report.
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.
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