Core values as the driver for sustainable development

Door: Arjan van Jaaren
Founder, Circular Clarity
Gepubliceerd: 15 July 2022

A long road from ESG rating to 360 degree transparency

In this article by Global Government Procurement Data Solutions, you can learn what makes ESG rating compicated. From the lack of quality in data, to the fact that data is often self produced and can be easily manipulated to only showcase positive results. We have a long road before we break through cimplexities and can offer all stake-holders 360 degree transparency.

Manipulating data or wating for governments to choose suit, leads to playing a very high risk, yet often profitable game. But that game is rapidly changing, as the risk of climate change and societal dillema’s affect all of us and is starting to disrupt balance sheets and business strategies. “Adaptability” is the virtue that leads change strategies. 

But change (adapting to new realities) also requires a new level of thinking, an open mindset and primarily time. Each one of these attributes have been hijakced by efficiency models. Therefore ‘re-purposing time, people and resources to serve impact’, is the first step that needs to be recalibrated towards future fit compliance.

Core values rise beyond ratings 

Core values are the most stable attribute to evolve a business in becoming future compliant. Regardless of circumstance. An ESG rating can be easily delivered and manipulated and often contradicts the core values of a business and the work force.

The easiest example to share is the claim to sustainability. In the dictionary ‘sustainable’ can be linked to the life-span of a product as well as the environmental impact. Therefore an extremely harmful product can still be labelled as sustainable. Think about the complexity on so many levels when challenging the actual definition of values.  

Such enormous disconnects between values and reality, also arise when approaching core values from a personal perspective. For example, many people as a result of the pandemic, have been given time to re-connect to their own core values. And on this journey, now come to realize that their core values no longer match the core values a business represents. This is a major disruption in retention strategies and beyond. 

We can hide, but never avoid our core values. We need to embrace them and live through change as we adapt to new realities. 

That’s why a value compass helps connect both the policy creation part, as well as the internal proces of repurposing time, people and money towards future based sustainable objectives.

Focus on strenthening the core of your business

When focussing on strengthening the absolute core of a business, based on the core values that drive a business, you slowly evolve your business culture. As if your DNA is slowly adapting to a new set of principles, without actually changing the core. The result is that when you positively influence that core, so will your external impact slowly evolve (transform) to a healthier business model, that in fact, shouldn’t need an ESG rating. True impact means being transparant about both negative and positive impact aspects. And using the identified gaps to improve your business.

Well-being and personal development as the ultimate ESG driver

Although it is tempting to buy your ESG rating in order to position yourself as ‘best in class’. It is a slippery slope when you procrastinate taking the real core steps towards a new business model. This step requires new leadership. And imagine when your position as a leader is suddenly challenged. This is when the ego kicks into 3.0 ‘fight or flight’ mode and we defend what doesn’t need defending, but instead poses the most amazing opportunity of all.

Taking purpose, ESG, CSRD, SDG, Net zero or any other sustainable developent goal to the core of your strategy, leads to the personal development of everyone involved. Opening up to new possibilities and markets that start by opening up to a new level of thinking.

Beyond the technical and data driven aspects of ESG ratings, we discover the realm of personal development. Re-balancing and re-connecting who we are to what we do. Writing perhaps the most exciting new business and personal chapter of all times. 

ESG from a new perspective

Environmental Social Governance. When you drive your sustainable challenges and priorities based on the core values that drive you as a person and business, the game really changes.

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