From Roy Snell

Andra Popa and I have been exchanging ideas in the field of compliance for years.  I asked her to send me some questions about ESG.  This is the first one I have turned into a blog post. I love this question.  “Do you ever think of ESG as an equation? Would this be a correct approach, or is it simplistic to think of in this way?”

I can assure you Andra that I have never thought of ESG this way and probably never would have had you not asked this question.  But now that you mention it a light bulb went off for me.  The answer is… absolutely. Yes. ESG can be looked at as an equation.  It’s not too simplistic, simplicity is exactly what the ESG movement needs right now. I spent 20 years as a leader trying to get people to turn their often times vague, overly passionate and rambling ideas into an equation.  If you turn your idea into an equation/process, with a beginning, middle and end, you will be more likely to know what to do next which is essential to get to your end game.  This may be the biggest problem the ESG movement has right now… it’s too vague for leadership to sink their teeth into, so I would turn ESG into an equation.

There might be several ways to turn Environmental, Social and Governance improvements into an equation.  One way to turn ESG into an equation might be to follow the seven elements of a compliance program.  A compliance program is a proven “equation” for preventing, finding and fixing problems in important risk areas… such as Environment, Social and Governance risks.  In fact, Osprey, the ESG software company that I am an advisor for, is displaying this poster in their booth at the upcoming Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics annual conference.

If you complete all the steps of the compliance program “equation” you will, in my humble opinion, have one of the most effective ESG programs in the country.  Why do I say that… precisely because most ESG programs are currently not built with a beginning, middle and an end.  Most people, who are very passionate about ESG programs, are taking a philosophical approach and they are primarily focused on finger pointing, blaming people and doing very little to actually change an existing company process to achieve a net ESG gain.

I would be remiss not to mention, as an advisor to Osprey ESG software, turning ESG into an equation is the whole point of developing of the Osprey ESG Manager software.  If you implement the Osprey ESG software you will turn the vagaries of ESG into an equation/process overnight.  You will immediately have a beginning, middle and end.  That is why my answer is “Absolutely Yes!” to Andra’s question, “Can you turn ESG into an equation?”  Not only is that true, the lack of an equation is precisely why so many ESG programs fail to make progress.  The lack of an equation is why so many leaders are so frustrated with some of the ESG folks who think screaming and finger pointing is a solution.  Leaders want an equation.  Leaders want a process. Your question/observation Andra… is genius.

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