Business Leaders in New York Exhibit Commitment to Corporate Sustainability
20 July 2023
The discussion focused on how businesses are dealing with the challenge of reducing carbon emissions and delved into the expansive subject of ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) issues, which are becoming increasingly critical for shaping the image and Consumer and Employer Branding of any corporation.
Businesses that presented at the meeting spanned various industries, including apparel, pharmaceuticals, transportation, cosmetics, beverages, and professional services such as lawyers and accountants. The titles of attendees indicated the rising importance of sustainability-related issues: Climate and Sustainability Lead Counsel, Director of Sustainability, and ESG Policy Managers.
Here are a few key takeaways from the examples and efforts shared by these forward-thinking companies:
- Reducing the Carbon Footprint: Many are collecting emissions data to set reduction goals, working towards obtaining ISO 14001 certification, and improving the green operations of their warehouses.
- Packaging: Emphasising the importance of evaluating current packaging materials to minimise material waste.
- Transportation: Focusing on partnering with shipping companies that utilize and develop vessels with greener power technologies.
- Environmental Donations: Many companies have donated thousands of trees to support a greener environment.
- Social Issues: Prioritizing human rights and anti-human trafficking concerns when reviewing suppliers.
- ESG Compliance Measures: An increasingly important topic, particularly for financial and legal professionals. Leaders seek empirical measures to determine which companies they should use as suppliers.
- The Role of Government: The state holds significant influence over the pace of ESG progress. For example, New York State provides incentives such as tax breaks for green initiatives at the municipal level. Taxes are an essential government tool to encourage green energy production and push companies to adopt green policies. The European Union aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. However, setting such a goal also presents challenges, like maintaining a tax base that currently relies on non-renewable energy sources.
We are occasionally reminded, through extreme weather events, of the need to adopt green technologies. The current challenge is to expedite these technologies’ development and better organise businesses, governments, and consumers to fund the necessary strategies. AIMS International has recently become a UN Global Compact participant and is committed to the UN SDGs and supporting our clients on the road to net zero.
Richard Schnaittacher has devoted his career to international business including having lived outside the United States (Middle East and Far East) for over 10 years.
Mr. Schnaittacher has experience dealing in a number of manufacturing industries through involvement with a number of technology transfer projects.