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How to understand if the company cares about ESG

According to a recent ESG report published by Robert Walters, 71% of global talent will turn down a job offer if a company’s D&I values do not align with their own. On top of that, 9 out of 10 largest corporates claim they are considering ESG in their high-level strategy. We have entered an ESG-focused era.

As a candidate, how do you distinguish if a company truly value ESG as a “mindset over must”, and where are the places you could look for to see if a company’s ESG culture align with yours?

Structural reform as a roadmap

Structurally, ESG needs to be prioritised from the boardroom to the mailroom. Organisations require the agility to flex in line with evolving stakeholder expectations.

- What ESG regulation and compliance obligations the organisation has now, and what requirements may be coming in future.

- How the organisation compares to its peers in terms of ESG performance, and what opportunities this may present (e.g. the opportunity for an organisation to potentially be a market leader through additional voluntary ESG commitments and disclosures, or for an organisation to collaborate with industry peers to ‘raise the bar’ across the sector.)

- Is there a comprehensive audit undertaken to understand the entire organisation’s current ESG outputs and performance.


Corporate ESG culture

The most effective ESG transformations are often led by a senior executive who is accountable for specific and measurable key performance indicators. The leader sets a roadmap for the organisation to achieve ESG targets, including operations, metrics, reporting, responsibilities, etc.

Crucially, the ESG transformation roadmap encompasses the entire organisation and its culture. Everyone in the workforce needs to understand the role and outputs that they are personally and collectively responsible for. A ‘bottom up’ approach can be a powerful way to incentivise individuals and teams to generate ideas and form plans to achieve specific ESG outputs.


Personnel investment by company

Workforces require the skills, knowledge, and capabilities to execute ESG strategy. The implementation plan also includes a people strategy to ensure the organisation has the necessary ESG skills and capabilities to deliver outcomes and targets.

During the interview, ask questions such as any specific ESG knowledge can be acquired through on-the-job learning. Courses and accreditations are no longer confined to environmental scientists – most professions are upskilling their members for the ESG challenges that lie ahead.

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