HPA Director Joins Environmental Social Governance Debate

HPA Director, Zoe Hooton joined an expert panel of local business owners to discuss the rising importance of Environmental Social Governance (ESG). The debate was organised by Lancashire Business View and held in association with energy and utility management expert BiU (British Independent Utilities), at their offices in Lytham, St Anne’s.

ESG is the approach to evaluating and operating businesses that go beyond the sole focus of shareholder return. Instead, ESG considers the ecosystem, both internal and external, that businesses operate within and how they affect each other.

Environment relates to the ecosystems of our planet and how human activity affects the world, including things like: energy / water consumption, air pollution, and environmental policies.

Social encompasses the factors regarding how businesses treat their human stakeholders – be they internal or external. This includes: comparative living wages, the gender pay gap, and diversity and inclusion percentage.

Governance is how a corporation operates at the highest-level, including decision making, political involvement, and ethics. For example: tax paid, ethics and anti-corruption policy, and transparent executive pay.

As Zoe explained during discussions: “It’s about people, planet profit, place. We sit with the client and look at their objectives, their cultures. The building regs have changed to be far more environmental and there are more sustainable technologies.

We are excited that clients are now asking us questions. There is a more open conversation about sustainability. More people are looking at buildings and how they can improve efficiency. There are some small, but great gains that can be had, such as LED lighting. There’s also an awful lot of support that’s being provided across Lancashire, helping SME’s make these sort of decisions, because it is a minefield at first. You’ve got to have an environmental strategy applicable to your business.”

The debate in its entirety can be found in the July / August 2022 Lancashire Business View Magazine, which you can also read online here.

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