“Systemic change can take a long time. That’s why it needs to be part of the DNA of governance. That’s where the ‘G’ in ESG comes in.” Deanna Oppenheimer
On May 17th, the Nasdaq Director Roundtable provided a thoughtful discussion moderated by Nasdaq Head of Board Advisory EMEA James Beasley and Hargreaves Lansdown Board Chair Deanna Oppenheimer. The focus of the conversation was the changing role and meaning of ESG, as it relates to the board. ESG means something different for board members, investors, and stakeholders.
Measuring goals when it comes to ESG was one of the highlighted topics. As executive and NED Hilda Pinnix-Ragland pointed out, “If you measure something, you will make a change.” It's important to create consistent financial or quantitative metrics for all goals. NED Martha Brooks also weighed in, highlighting that incremental change happens when a big goal is set to create new strategy, business models, or ideas. Everyone should be buying in and seeing the economic and social benefits of ESG goals. The goal cannot be just what a company has already been doing—it must be bigger.
James concluded that while ESG has different implications for different entities, it’s positive that we have a term around which to unite.