Beyond the Build

Community Service

Why ESG Matters

A couple of years ago, I mentioned a measurement standard that was new at the time called ESG.This stands for Environmental, Social and Governance, and it considers impacts way beyond just the financial factors. What repercussions might the project or business activities have on the environment? Is it good for the community? And is the company itself being responsible with compensation, leadership policies and transparency? Since that first post, we have seen this stewardship-focused model gain momentum.

Companies continue to face difficulties with the supply chain, and at present, broader economic challenges may be looming. Will ESG be a place to cut? I would suggest the opposite, especially after reading an article in Urban Land Magazine‘s spring issue stating that now is the worst time to downplay ESG strategies. The article argues that well-executed ESG planning delivers higher value because it ensures relevance and mitigates risk.

I am a minor investor in a startup that measures the real ESG of public companies. While I am still trying to get my arms around the full spectrum of impact, I believe the influence stretches to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. ESG could very well become a benchmark that will be used to attract investors or nonprofit donations. Now is the time to ramp up our efforts, not discount this growing measurement. 

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.