Planning and building your ESG reputation in the finance sector

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Onclusive

Posted: In: Forward Planning

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As pressure increases on the finance sector to drive purposeful change through sustainable investing, we share upcoming events and legislation.

Within the financial sector, it is becoming impossible to miss conversations about climate change and sustainability. On 31 October 2021, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 opened in Glasgow and, as highlighted by European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde, the financial industry is needed to drive a new approach in policies towards climate change. With more climate change legislation being introduced, carbon-intensive assets will soon phase out, and companies must adapt to the shifting landscape or risk substantial losses. Communicators are central to helping the brands they work for navigate this complexity and articulate the plans they are putting in place to support and encourage sustainable investment.

 

Key considerations for communicators 

It’s not just pressure coming from the likes of government legislators that the finance sector should be concerned about. More and more it’s the public calling out firms that don’t appear to be pulling their weight in adapting their businesses. Investors increasingly use Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors as a framework to determine investment decisions, and likewise a more aware consumer base means that financial firms must consider ESG factors in their company policies to attract investment.

For communicators, building a plan for what a company communicates, how and when is absolutely critical to protecting and building brand perception and growth. A global KPMG survey showed that before COVID-19, almost three quarters of banking CEOs believed that their future growth would be contingent on how they adapt and react to a transition towards a carbon neutrality. Communicators have a critical role here. Failure to communicate a company’s ambitions and plans effectively may be detrimental to their ESG ratings and thus investor confidence, impacting investment opportunities.

Maintaining a regular and open dialogue with the public about ESG changes your business is making is vital, in particular as social media becomes a bigger platform for business and allows a more personal touch between customer and brand. With the growth of social media, communicators and marketers need to work together to engage active consumers and manage social media presence.

 

Plan ahead, stay ahead

Numerous financial organisations have adapted to the changing ESG landscape, with ratings agencies increasingly using ESG criteria to promote sustainable investment. Alongside that, companies are hosting events to promote their own ESG strategies to drive sustainable investment.

International organisations, communities and countries are producing new legislation and guidelines that companies must be aware of to comply with governmental policies. Investors and consumers alike bring ESG and good governance practices into consideration when making decisions, so promoting corporate strategies is vital in maintaining a successful marketing strategy that drives responsible investment.

Those who can communicate with integrity ahead of the curve of incoming government legislation will find success with both consumers and investors. Keeping track of the many events across the financial sector scheduled for 2022 is critical to this success. For communicators, such events provide opportunities to reinforce the stance and ambition of the companies they represent, while also being on the front foot to manage any uncomfortable truths that arise.

Onclusive Forward Planning allows communicators in the finance sector to be aware of upcoming events and legislation related to ESG. They can use this information to build strategies and campaigns to engage with consumers, promote business practices and communicate with an increasingly ethical consumer and investor base.

Here we share some of the key events and legislative changes financial sector communicators need to plan for:

 

UKSIF publishes net-zero financial sector report

10 May 2022 | @UKSIF

UKSIF publishes a thought leadership report to help define a net-zero financial sector in the UK, as part of its ‘net-zero inquiry’.

 

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos

22 – 26 May 2022 | @wef

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting commences in Davos, with leaders from business, government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts. This year’s event, under the theme of ‘Working Together, Restoring Trust’, is the first physical annual meeting since January 2020.

 

World Environment Day

5 June 2022 | @UNEP

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

 

FTSE4Good Index Semi-Annual Review

7 June 2022 | @FTSERussell

FTSE4Good Index Semi-Annual Review * The FTSE4Good Index Series is a series of benchmark and tradable indices for socially responsible investors

 

CBI Achieving Net Zero Conference

7 – 8 June 2022 | @CBITweets

Free event to gain insights on how the UK’s net zero strategy must adapt in the current global economic context, hear practical advice from decarbonisation experts, and contribute to the network of company leaders, policy makers and change makers who will make it happen.

 

Responsible Business Summit Europe

8 – 9 June 2022 | @reutersevents

The event will help you deliver a roadmap for net zero and achieve decarbonisation, provide comparable, quality data fit for the investment community, address your supply chain risks, and deliver ambitious, accountable action while sustaining commercial success.

 

FTSE4Good Index Semi-Annual Review changes applied

17 June 2022 | @FTSERussell

FTSE 4Good Index Semi-Annual Review changes are implemented after close of business. The FTSE4Good Index Series is a series of benchmark and tradable indices for socially responsible investors.

 

First day of trading following FTSE4Good Index Semi-Annual Review changes

20 June 2022 | @FTSERussell

First day of trading following implementation of FTSE 4Good Index Semi-Annual Review changes.