January 17, 2018 Transparency, a Growing Key Concern
In 2017, Blackrock’s Larry Fink – CEO to one of the largest investment companies in the world – sent ripples across the financial world when in his annual letter, he addressed the CEOs of their shareholdings as follows: “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors relevant to a company’s business can provide essential insights into management effectiveness and thus a company’s long-term prospects. We look to see that a company is attuned to the key factors that contribute to long-term growth: sustainability of the business model and its operations, attention to external and environmental factors that could impact the company, and recognition of the company’s role as a member of the communities in which it operates.”
As the financial world begins shifting into this new paradigm, it needs new toolsets for evaluating investments and measuring companies around the world operate in terms of these “ESG factors.”
The more colloquial term for ESG, “Transparency,” is arguably as accurate in describing these same factors. Yet it is also a term that gets thrown around far too often. Indeed, so often that we can quickly forget what it is actually referring to. Transparency is first and foremost about insight, clarity and honesty. Insight into what is happening within a business, clarity regarding its challenges and its strengths, and honesty towards stakeholders at large, to whom these insights matter most. Such stakeholders are not only limited to shareholders and executive management, but also staff, supply chain workers, government, civil society and many more.
How is the outdoor industry performing in comparison to other industries? Judge for yourself. At ISPO Munich, you will have the opportunity to meet pioneering companies who have taken a leap in good faith by choosing to be transparent and invite the public “into their home.” Go and pay them a visit– you are one of the stakeholders as well.
Pamela Ravasio, Head of CSR & Sustainability
European Outdoor Group