“Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.” (Chen, 2021)
Corporate integrity of a company is not just committing to anti-corruption. Indeed, it is so much more. It means that its labor and business practices follow the highest global ESG standards, and that it proactively seeks the same commitment along its whole supply chain, and even from its consumers/, users and neighbors; not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is good business. That is why we support the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, the six Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and other globally accepted frameworks.
“Corporate sustainability starts with a company’s value system and a principles-based approach to doing business. This means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success.” (UNGC, 2021a)
“The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact are derived from: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.”
«The six Principles for Responsible Investment are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. The Principles were developed by investors, for investors. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system.” (UNPRI, 2021)
Our theory of change is based on the premise that “the wheel has already been invented”. All that companies need is to do is install it to the engine. But because of own their own nature and structure, businesses -including micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)- are often not well suited to reconvert to ESG global standards by themselves, even if the political will to do so comes from their highest decision-making levels. That is why the initial intervention and accompaniment from qualified external partners is usually necessary to build capacity, followed up by Monitoring and Evaluation for Accountability and Learning (MEAL).