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What is ESG and What Does It Mean For Your Business?

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Article

A New Era of Business Transparency

Imagine a world where businesses thrive by not just counting profits but by measuring their impact on the planet and society. That’s the essence of ESG, a concept that’s rapidly becoming the backbone of modern business practices.

On a spring day in 2021, the European Commission set the stage for a transformative approach to business reporting with the sustainable finance package. This included the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which expanded the reporting requirements far beyond the previous Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD).

Fast forward to 2023, and nearly 50,000 companies across the EU are now navigating the intricate world of ESG reporting.

In Hungary, the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT) has nudged issuers to craft an ESG reporting roadmap. To aid in this endeavor, let’s delve into the world of ESG and demystify how businesses can embrace this framework.

So, What is ESG?

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance – the three critical areas where companies are expected to shine a light on their operations.

But it’s more than just a checklist; it’s about capturing the essence of a company’s impact beyond its balance sheet.

ESG is the lens through which companies can assess risks and opportunities that aren’t reflected in financial statements but are crucial to long-term sustainability.

The Staying Power of ESG

Why is ESG not just a fleeting trend?

Our planet is grappling with climate change, the shift towards a circular economy, and the quest for social equity. Investors and stakeholders are now looking beyond financial metrics. They seek companies that are responsible custodians of not just financial capital but also our natural environment and societal well-being.

ESG has become a cornerstone for investors, influencing how they allocate capital and how they perceive a company’s future viability.

Environmental Pillar: The Green Gauge

The Environmental Pillar is a kaleidoscope of a company’s ecological footprint.

It’s about how a company tackles emissions, whether it’s the carbon it releases or the pollutants it might discharge into our air and water. It’s about resource stewardship – does a company use raw or recycled materials?

How does it ensure its products live a full life before returning to the economy, rather than languishing in landfills?

This pillar also encompasses the protection of our natural habitats, addressing deforestation and biodiversity. Reporting on environmental impact is complex, but it’s also where companies can showcase their positive contributions to sustainability.

Social Pillar: The Human Factor

The Social Pillar puts the spotlight on a company’s most valuable asset – its people. It’s about fair labor practices, nurturing employee growth, and ensuring product safety.

It’s about the ethics of supply chains and the commitment to health and safety standards. But it goes beyond the company’s walls, reaching out to how businesses ensure that even the underprivileged have access to their products and services.

Governance Pillar: Steering the Corporate Ship

Governance is the framework that holds a company accountable. It’s about protecting shareholder rights, celebrating board diversity, and aligning executive compensation with sustainability goals.

It’s about corporate ethics, from combating corruption to avoiding anti-competitive behavior. Good governance is the glue that binds environmental and social practices with corporate strategy, ensuring that a company doesn’t just aim to do well but also to do good.


In conclusion, ESG is the new language of business success.

It’s a comprehensive approach that demands transparency and accountability, urging companies to consider their broader impact on the world.

As we move forward, ESG will continue to shape the corporate landscape, guiding companies towards a future where success is measured not just in profit, but in positive impact.

Tony Bell Profile Picture

Tony Bell

Director: Sales & Marketing at Decision Inc. Group.

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