Engaging with stakeholders is common in ESG and sustainability, and a good ESG and sustainability programme requires stakeholder mapping. Stakeholders should be engaged regularly to provide input and feedback on your ESG strategy and as part of your materiality assessment.
There are lots of different stakeholders, and the types of stakeholders that are relevant to your company will depend on its industry and location. One of the key steps of the Speeki Engage process of building and maintaining ESG is identifying these stakeholders.
Below is a high-level list of different stakeholders in ESG and sustainability. Use this as a guide when you are building your own stakeholder assessments.
Employees are directly affected by a company’s ESG practices, such as its policies on climate change, workplace safety, and diversity and inclusion. Employees are also important stakeholders in promoting ESG within a company, as they can provide valuable insights and feedback.
Customers are becoming more concerned about the ESG practices of the companies they buy from. They are more likely to do business with companies that have strong ESG credentials, and may even be willing to pay more for products and services from these companies.
Investors are paying close attention to the financial risks associated with climate change and other ESG issues, and are increasingly looking to invest in companies with strong ESG profiles.
Suppliers are important stakeholders in ESG. They are responsible for providing the raw materials and services that a company needs to operate, and can therefore have a significant impact on the company’s ESG footprint.
The communities in which a company operates are affected by the company's environmental impact, employment practices and contributions to local economic development.
Regulators are responsible for setting and enforcing laws and regulations that protect the environment, workers and consumers. They are also important stakeholders in ESG as they can play a role in encouraging companies to adopt sustainable practices.
- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
NGOs work to promote environmental protection, social justice and other ESG goals. They can be important partners for companies that are committed to ESG, and can help hold companies accountable for their ESG performance.
- Academic institutions
Academic institutions can play a role in ESG by conducting research on ESG issues, educating students about ESG, and providing training and certification programmes for ESG professionals.
The media can play a role in ESG by reporting on ESG issues, highlighting companies with strong ESG profiles and making companies with poor ESG practices accountable.
- Consumer advocacy groups
Consumer advocacy groups educate consumers about ESG issues, encouraging consumers to support companies with strong ESG profiles and advocating for government policies that promote ESG.
- Trade associations
Trade associations can play a role in ESG by providing guidance and resources to their members on ESG issues, advocating for government policies that promote ESG, and helping to build consensus on ESG standards.
- Board of directors
The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the company’s ESG performance. The board members should have a strong understanding of ESG issues and should be committed to promoting ESG within the company.
- Senior management
Senior management is responsible for implementing the company’s ESG strategy. They should set clear goals and objectives, allocate resources and track progress.
- Sales channels
There is a strong need to keep your sales channels engaged. Many sales channels, like travel booking engines, now have embedded ESG guides and measuring systems and recommend your products based on their view of your ESG initiatives. These companies provide essential leads, orders and reviews, so their approach to managing ESG must be considered.
What people say about your business is important and the review industry is now a large player in giving guidance and direction to consumers on their buying preferences. Reviewers posting on Google and other similar sites should be considered as stakeholders and you need to ensure the right amount of engagement.
These are just a few of the many stakeholders that are involved in ESG and sustainability. By engaging with all stakeholders, a company can build a strong ESG foundation and create long-term value for all. Stakeholders should all be considered annually as part of an ESG review and materiality assessment.
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