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Can we do better in 2024 ? Can We Demystify ESG Frameworks for Real Impact

In the labyrinthine world of sustainability, ESG frameworks loom large, their acronyms and jargon swirling like incantations promising a path to righteousness. But for many, these frameworks feel less like practical guides and more like impenetrable fortresses guarded by an aristocracy of sustainability experts.

The question begs: Are these complex frameworks truly delivering on their promise, or are they merely an echo chamber for the initiated, leaving the majority of stakeholders bewildered and disengaged?

It’s time for a reality check. While ESG frameworks have undoubtedly played a crucial role in raising awareness and setting broad guidelines, their intricate language and sheer abundance – there are over 200 frameworks vying for attention – create a significant barrier to entry for the average stakeholder.

The Jargon Trap:

Let’s face it, terms like “GRI Standards,” “SASB Benchmarks,” and “CDP Disclosures” are enough to send even the most dedicated sustainability champion running for the hills. This creates a two-tiered system where those fluent in the language of ESG hold the reins, while the rest of us struggle to grasp the fundamentals and engage meaningfully.

Is Knowledge Power or Exclusion?

The harsh reality is that only a small fraction of stakeholders actually delve into the depths of these frameworks. This means valuable insights and potential contributions from investors, employees, and communities are left untapped, hindering the very progress these frameworks aim to facilitate.

So, what’s the solution?

It’s time to demystify the magic spell cast by complex frameworks. We need to simplify, consolidate, and translate. Here are some steps:

  • Develop a common language: Distill the essence of various frameworks into a clear, concise vocabulary accessible to all stakeholders. Think “plain English,” not cryptic acronyms.
  • Prioritize core principles: Emphasize the overarching goals of ESG – environmental responsibility, social equity, and ethical governance – rather than getting bogged down in sub-indicators and specific disclosure requirements.
  • Focus on real-world impact: Connect the dots between framework principles and tangible actions companies can take to make a difference on the ground. Showcase practical steps, not theoretical pronouncements.
  • Embrace accessible technology: Utilize interactive tools and dashboards to visualize data, track progress, and make information readily available for all stakeholders.

By simplifying and demystifying ESG frameworks, we can unlock their true potential. This would enable everyone – from investors to employees to local communities – to actively participate in building a more sustainable future. Remember, sustainability is not a spectator sport; it requires collective action and informed participation.

Let’s make ESG frameworks a bridge, not a barrier. Let’s translate the jargon into action, and unleash the power of collective intelligence to create a future where sustainability is not just a buzzword, but a shared journey of transformation.

The time for cryptic incantations is over. Let’s speak the language of progress, transparency, and real impact. Together, we can build a world where everyone understands, contributes to, and ultimately benefits from the power of ESG.

Kenya ESG Awards
Kenya ESG Awards

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