Environmental, social and governance: A fresh opportunity for corporate sustainability

Climate Change and Sustainability August 02, 2019

RSK group commercial sales director Warren Percival has commented on Environment Analyst’s recent article on corporate sustainability published online on 13 July.

The article considers how the corporate sustainability, environmental compliance and management and due diligence consulting disciplines are responding to the changing financial markets, Brexit and other key factors influencing demand patterns. It suggests that environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable development goals (SDG) might offer fresh opportunities in an otherwise slow-moving arena.

Despite talking “a good talk”, not all businesses have submerged themselves in the corporate sustainability and ESG mentality, Warren told Environment Analyst, “Risk identification is common but a fully fledged ESG programme is still a little harder to find during a transaction.”

The article also points to RSK’s expertise in this area, which could help companies interested in ESG: “RSK has begun to draft in social impact expertise – consultants that traditionally work on ESIAs for oil & gas pipelines – from its existing 600-strong UK EC team. Meanwhile, to boost its arsenal on the governance side, the firm is in ‘early talks’ with a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm in order to mount a serious challenge for market share in this space.”

The closing subject is the current buzz-topic, Brexit, and Warren’s words on this conclude the piece: “Something I am genuinely worried about is what will happen to UK environmental policy post-Brexit. If the government continues its attack on red tape then it could do damage to the environmental due diligence space, but this is something I am glad to say is that the UK Environmental Law Association is working hard at to fly the flag for high standards during the negotiation period.

“In reality, we are likely to see some investors taking advantage of these opportunities while others may go to other markets where there is less uncertainty. There is still so much private wealth out there locked up in pensions and other funds that you could see many being keen to take advantage of a deflated price point…and more deals means more due diligence.”

Subscribers can read the article in full on the Environment Analyst website. For more information, please contact Warren Percival.