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ESG criteria: tools for assessing the sustainability and social responsibility of companies

In the modern world, more and more companies are realizing the importance of sustainable development and social responsibility. In this context, ESG criteria are becoming more and more popular. ESG is an acronym denoting three main factors for evaluating companies: Environmental (environmental), Social (Social) and Governance (managerial). They serve as a tool for assessing the sustainability and social responsibility of companies, and their importance is only increasing.
What are ESG criteria?

ESG criteria are a set of factors and parameters by which companies are evaluated in terms of their environmental impact, social aspects and management quality. These criteria allow investors, shareholders, consumers and other interested parties to more fully evaluate the company and its activities, and make informed decisions about interaction with it.

What are the ESG criteria for companies?

  1. Environmental criterion: This criterion evaluates the company's impact on the environment. It includes aspects such as waste management, energy efficiency, emissions of harmful substances, use of renewable energy sources, conservation of biodiversity and water resources.
  2. Social criterion: This criterion reflects the social impact of the company and its relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, society and other stakeholders. It includes aspects such as working conditions, diversity and inclusion, workplace safety and health, participation in social programs and support for local communities.
  3. Governance criterion: This criterion is related to the quality of the company's management and includes an assessment of its corporate structure, transparency, ethics and management responsibility. Important aspects include the existence of an independent and competent board of directors, an effective risk control and management system, ethical standards of conduct, honesty in reporting and a long-term development strategy.
  4. Technological criterion: In the light of rapidly developing technologies and digital transformation, this criterion is becoming increasingly important. He evaluates the company's readiness and ability to adapt to technological changes, innovation and digital solutions, as well as the impact of its activities on technological development and the digital economy.
  5. Economic criterion: This criterion refers to the financial stability and results of the company. It includes analysis of financial indicators such as profitability, liquidity, income stability and risk management. It is important to take into account that financial productivity must be combined with sustainable development and social responsibility.

Below are some specific examples of ESG criteria that companies can take into account when assessing their sustainability and social responsibility:

  1. Diversity in leadership: Companies can assess the proportion of women and representatives of different ethnic groups in their leadership. This reflects the desire for equality, inclusivity and the creation of fair opportunities for all.
  2. Participation of the CEO in the Board of Directors: When the CEO of a company takes a seat on the board of directors, this allows for a closer link between the company's strategy and its operational activities. It also contributes to making more informed decisions that take into account the interests of all stakeholders.
  3. The proportion of women in the company's management: The inclusion of more women in senior positions contributes to the creation of a more diverse and inclusive work environment. This allows the company to use the full potential of talented specialists and develop diverse views and ideas.
  4. The proportion of women on the Board of Directors: The presence of women on the board of directors demonstrates the company's commitment to achieving gender equality in corporate governance. This contributes to making more informed and versatile decisions, as well as contributes to the creation of equal opportunities for all.
  5. Carbon emissions management: Companies can strive to reduce their carbon footprint by taking energy efficiency measures, using renewable energy sources and implementing greenhouse gas emission management programs. This contributes to the fight against climate change and supports environmental sustainability.
  6. Social programs and initiatives: Partnership with charitable organizations and participation in projects for the development of society. Financial and volunteer support of social programs and initiatives.
  7. Supply Chain Management: Companies can evaluate their suppliers in terms of their social and environmental responsibility. This may include verification of working conditions, respect for human rights, the use of sustainable materials and sustainable development practices. Supply chain management contributes to promoting fair trade relations and reducing negative environmental impacts.
  8. Corporate citizenship: This means the company's active participation in the social life of the community in which it operates. This may include financial support for charitable organizations, sponsorship of social events, volunteer activities and other initiatives aimed at public goals. Corporate citizenship helps to strengthen the reputation of the company and its relationships with stakeholders.
  9. Ethical behavior and Risk management: Companies must adhere to high standards of ethics and risk management in order to avoid violations of legislation, corruption and other negative practices. Compliance with ethical principles and effective risk management contribute to building trust on the part of customers, investors and the public.
  10. Innovation and technological progress: Companies that actively invest in research and development of new technologies contribute to economic development, sustainability and social progress. The promotion of innovation and technological progress helps companies to achieve more efficient use of resources and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Why should companies implement ESG criteria?

The introduction of ESG criteria is beneficial for companies from various aspects. Firstly, they help to reduce risks and increase the long-term sustainability of the company. Consideration of environmental factors, social responsibility and management quality helps to prevent negative consequences and avoid potential conflicts with stakeholders.

Secondly, companies that meet high ESG standards have more opportunities to attract investment. Many investors and funds prefer to invest in companies that pay attention to sustainability, social responsibility and ethical principles. Therefore, the integration of ESG criteria becomes a competitive advantage that attracts investment capital.

Thirdly, ESG criteria contribute to the improvement of the company's reputation. Companies that are actively engaged in sustainability and social responsibility issues build trusting relationships with their stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and the public at large. Improving the company's reputation helps to strengthen its position in the market and attract new customers.


ESG criteria are becoming an integral part of evaluating companies and their activities. Using tools to assess sustainability and social responsibility helps companies create long-term value, reduce risks and attract investment. It is important to realize that sustainability and social responsibility are becoming key success factors in modern business. The integration of ESG criteria contributes to the creation of a sustainable, responsible and successful company that is able to cope with the challenges of the modern world and benefit both itself and society as a whole.

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