At the beginning of 2023 new EU ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) regulations came into effect, which are going to have a significant impact on businesses.These regulations are designed to promote sustainability and corporate responsibility, with a focus on environmental protection, social justice, and corporate governance.
The regulations will act as a guide for businesses to help them operate in line with local ESG goals, and make companies more accountable. It also aims to reduce the ‘greenwashing’ that has become more apparent over the last few years, where companies make claims which are unsubstantiated and not actually that authentic.
So what impact will these regulations have on office managers, and what is it useful to be aware of in order to take appropriate steps to ensure compliance? We’ve found some of the key things that we think office managers need to know about the new EU ESG regulations:
- Environmental Considerations: The new regulations place a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, and businesses will be required to demonstrate that they are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. This could include implementing measures such as reducing energy consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy sources, and reducing waste and carbon emissions. Recycle, renew, reuse. These are things to think about when researching new providers or suppliers.
- Social Considerations: The regs also require businesses to take into account social factors such as human rights, labour standards, and social inclusion. This means that businesses will need to ensure that they are not engaging in any practices that are harmful to workers, customers, or local communities. Are the businesses you outsource to operating in an ethical way? Are all the relevant processes and procedures in place?
- Governance Considerations: Finally, businesses are also required to have strong corporate governance structures in place, with clear accountability and transparency. This means that office managers will need to ensure that their company has appropriate policies and procedures in place to prevent corruption and other unethical practices.
So what are some quick ways you can make sure you are one step ahead of the regulations?
- Conduct a sustainability audit: This may identify areas where you can improve sustainability practices, e.g. energy consumption, waste management, and supply chain management…
- Develop a sustainability plan: Based on the results of the audit, you may need to develop a sustainability plan that sets out specific goals and targets for reducing the environmental impact and promoting social responsibility.
- Engage with stakeholders: Engage with employees, customers, and suppliers and see if they have ideas as to how you can adjust the way you work. They may well have something quick and easy to adopt.
Office managers are already central to the running of the business, and with a strong understanding of the new regulations they can help their company to build a strong reputation as a socially responsible and sustainable business, while also contributing to a better future for our planet and its inhabitants.