Putting the 'G' in ESG - Colette Reeves of Hazlewoods
Awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are nothing new, but the last 12 months have shown businesses and investors the importance of putting money into creating sustainable success for people and planet.
Governance is a vital ingredient, and Cheltenham-based Hazlewoods say they can help businesses put the 'G' in ESG.
ESG has gained momentum, not just with younger generations who are so much more aware nowadays, but also business owners. Strong governance and compliance has helped companies to weather the consequences of an economic downturn with more agility and confidence, knowing that their structure and processes are suitable.
According to a report from Aflac, 77 per cent of consumers want to purchase from companies with a corporate social responsibility (CSR) pledge; in agreement are the 73 per cent of investors who also want to see similar commitments.
Colette Reeves, Hazlewoods Governance and Compliance Services director said: "We want to help businesses to prosper, not just in terms of profits but in the long term and with the wellbeing of all stakeholders in mind.
"Under the umbrella of governance and compliance, we can offer advisory services in addition to the administrative elements, which will help to create sustainable businesses.
"Beyond our compliance services which include a full annual Company Secretarial service, we offer specialist governance services such as share reorganisations, sale and acquisition support, directors' duties training and much more.
"Demand for our services has increased over the last year and we have seen evidence that excellent governance and compliance helps businesses to remain agile in times of uncertainty. As businesses look to grow and react to the business environment, there will be more demand to get governance right."
What are the benefits of strong governance?
Increased confidence from investors
Investors are increasingly assessing the governance capital of target companies in the same way that they would evaluate debt, human capital, technologies etc. Solid governance and compliance practices help to engender shareholder confidence and, therefore, value.
Good governance ensures transparency and accountability. As stakeholders, including customers/service users, suppliers, vendors, media, staff and government bodies become more astute in their analysis of the businesses they look to work with, transparency of internal policies and control mechanisms inevitably boost business reputation and consequently brand value.
Reporting on performance is crucial in a functioning business; it leads to more efficient decision-making in fast-paced environments, which in turn can help to reduce costs.
As with all good structures, strong governance and compliance procedures and processes help to mitigate risk in a business.
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