ESG Risks: Social

There is increasing pressure on organizations to demonstrate and display their social credentials, underscored in 2020 when the pandemic highlighted both known and unknown social inequalities.

These inequalities were further accentuated when racial inequalities in the USA made headlines throughout 2020.

Pressure has been mounting on businesses to remain competitive, forcing them to adopt dedicated and focused plans that consider their social objectives and obligations required to meet their stakeholder objectives.

Social issues include:

  • Diversity and Inclusion: companies are accelerating the introduction and improvement of policies that will result in improved levels of diversity and inclusion.
  • Inequality: companies are accelerating the introduction and improvement of policies that will address inequalities in the workplace.
  • Safety and Well-being: ensuring the health and well-being of employees is now considered a hygiene factor for companies, however this has to be considered in the context of escalating costs, including these health and wellbeing costs, placing a further strain on company resources.

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and the national response to it exposed several shortcomings in both national readiness and corporate resilience.

The social and emotional impact of Covid-19 will only be fully understood and appreciated in the years ahead.

Failing to address the changing social needs of society in and out of the workplace can result in organisational failure and increasing costs. Today there’s a heightened expectation of businesses being required to step-up and meet the ever expanding social needs of customers, employees, investors and stakeholders.

“Covid-19 Gives Sustainability a Dress Rehearsal” (Bain & Company, April 2020)
“The pandemic will leave the poor further disadvantaged” (IMF, May 2020)

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