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Why do Most ESG efforts Fail?

Starting anything worthwhile is exciting. It can be a rush of adrenaline. Finishing … well, that is another thing entirely. The larger the mountain the steeper the climb. In the sport of climbing, it is understood that only a few make it to the top. There are many who eagerly make the first steps, but few who make the last ones at the summit.

There are many reasons for not succeeding in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) journey. First of all, there are so many components and pieces that it is hard to grasp all of them. After you have all the components of your plan together the next part is prioritizing. It is often difficult to prioritize because some parts overlap and others are completely divergent in their needs and oversight. Some can be tackled in a linear fashion only, while others can be accomplished in a parallel manner.

The next challenges are: 

  • having trained, excellent leaders who can gain the respect of the workforce as these changes are being made. 
  • engaging the employees in the process, so they are not seen as an afterthought. 
  • rolling all the goals and results into something that is understandable and meaningful in a type of dashboard or scorecard to evaluate the progress.

If all that sounds overwhelming, it most certainly can be. We haven’t even begun to talk about upstream and downstream product packaging, Scope I, II, or III, greenhouse gas emissions, water and air quality, soils, zero, waste and … So, we’ll summarize to keep things in focus.

Here Are The Main Reasons ESG Efforts Fail:

  1. Lack of a defined, all-encompassing, written Game Plan 
  2. Lack of smaller subsets of the plan with written goals, procedures, and short-term timelines
  3. Lack of properly-conceived measurement tools 
  4. Lack of cohesive teamwork
  5. Lack of expertise in all areas to be addressed
  6. Use of only a single approach without ongoing modifications for continuous improvement
  7. Lack of transparency
  8. Lack of accountability

That’s a pretty long list. If you have tried and not produced the results you are looking for, we wonder how many of the items on this list apply to your efforts.

We believe the best way to improve your results is to work with a team of people who have successfully navigated these waters and have produced positive results. The wheel is hard enough to re-invent. A successful ESG program is infinitely harder. Make sure you have a team of people who can address each of the eight items above and you’ll be on your way. The Team at Okapi Environmental Services has experience with organizations at every stage of pre-planning to success and even the occasional post-mortem. We want to help your team succeed, and it begins with a conversation.

Sustainability is only sustainable if it positively affects the triple bottom line. 

The People, the Profits, and the Planet        

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