How structural ESG actions (environmental, social and governance practices) need to transform as companies in a structural way, says the founder of Instituto Legado, James Marins.
“If you want to have an ESG behavior, you have two moments to to have this behavior: from the door in and from the door out. You don’t want to sell ESG from the door out if you don’t practice ESG from the door in”, he said when speaking at Viasoft Connect, an innovation event that takes place in Curitiba.
Instituto Legado has been working for ten years supporting the growth of socio-environmental initiatives throughout Brazil.
The acronym ESG appeared in 2004, in the discussions of the Global Compact, an initiative launched by the former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan environment for companies aligned with principles in the area of human rights, environment, anti-corruption and decent work.
Marins highlights that companies must to have attention to the aspirations of younger people, whether as customers, workers or investors. “The new generations have new demands. Therefore, your consumer, your supplier, your collaborator, your supplier, when he comes from a new generation, he has ten interests”, he says about attention, his supplier, social and environmental issues.
Therefore, Marins the importance of companies to structure themselves emphasizing the current demands. “Among your collaborators, how many of them are black? Are female people in company management charges? What is your company’s accessibility? How many chairs do you employ? Do you employ any blind programmer?”
Despite being these ideas, each time they are remembered or remembered, in the same proportion, there are more ideas than the number of companies that disguise more practices, in the same proportion. This kind of dishonest action is also known by English names such as green wash – false good practices in the environmental field –, bleaching – false policy of racial inclusion –, pink wash – false concern about the agendas related to the LGBTQIA+ cause.
“The marketing department cannot to have nothing to do with ESG. The marketing department can applaud what is being done, but it cannot determine what will happen. ESG is not marketing, although it can be used as marketing,” added the consultant.
Companies that resort to ESG fraud, he says, increasingly face consumer and even legal penalties. “Large trusted financial institutions are actually hiding their practice,” he said they are hiding their practice.
Marins recalled the case of Volkswagen, which suffered fines and lawsuits in several countries, in 2017 and 2018, for to have rigged the pollutant emission tests. In automaker 2ter015, used vehicle tests were rigged, pretending that the cars meet pollutant emission standards. In Brazil, for example, the automaker was fined by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).
*The reporter traveled at the invitation of the Viasoft Connect organization