15 ESG Initiatives To Help You Reach Sustainability Goals

The cost of Sustainability

15 ESG Initiatives To Help You Reach Sustainability Goals

ESG initiatives can be a powerful, cost-effective tool in your arsenal for achieving the sustainability goals you set for your business. For a limited investment, you can alter your business for the better and improve a range of sustainability areas—from energy efficiency to diversity.

In this Sandpaper guide, we’ll introduce you to a number of the most effective sustainability initiatives you can implement. We’ll also estimate the cost of each initiative and provide advice on the best ways to measure your sustainability performance.

Let’s get started.

What Are ESG Initiatives?

ESG initiatives are strategies that businesses can use to actively reduce their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts. These initiatives are designed to improve performance in specific areas of sustainability, such as: 

reducing energy consumption

becoming more diverse

supporting the local community

improving employee wellbeing

To be effective, ESG initiatives need to be highly specific and highly targeted. And to help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and effective ESG initiatives.

Note: The cost estimates below are calibrated for SMBs (1 to 250 employees). Costs for enterprises are harder to estimate due to the greater complexity of their operations.

Environmental Initiatives

  1. Transition to Cloud Computing ($5,000 – $500,000): Transitioning to cloud computing can reduce carbon emissions by 88%.
  2. Install Solar Panels ($20,000 – $100,000): Installing solar panels can reduce carbon emissions by 25% to 45%.
  3. Install Motion Sensors ($300 – $5,000): Installing motion sensors to control lighting and heat in office spaces can reduce emissions by 30%.
  4. Offset Carbon Emissions ($500 – $25,000): Offsetting carbon emissions can reduce a company’s total emissions by up to 100%.
  5. Adopt Hybrid or Remote Work Policies ($0): Adopting hybrid (or remote) work policies can eliminate the need for daily commutes, reducing the carbon footprint of the workforce.

Social Initiatives

  1. Create a Minority Leadership Program ($500 – $5,000): Sponsoring a minority leadership program can create opportunities for members of traditionally underrepresented groups to enrich their skill sets. Offer training, mentorship, and support for these programs.
  2. Establish a Corporate Philanthropy Program ($500 – $50,000): Corporate philanthropy programs create an opportunity for businesses to give back to their communities through targeted donations to local causes. Identify a cause that resonates with your company’s values and develop a program to offer meaningful support.
  3. Develop a Corporate Social Responsibility Program ($2,000 – $100,000): A corporate social responsibility program is a commitment to making a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. Consider investing in renewable energy sources, improving the efficiency of your operations, or engaging with local communities.
  4. Launch a Scholarship Program ($2,000 – $25,000): Offering scholarships can provide financial relief to students from underserved communities, helping them pursue higher education and reach their full potential.
  5. Invest in Employee Wellness Programs ($500 – $50,000): Investing in employee wellness programs such as corporate fitness classes, stress relief activities, and access to mental health resources can help increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Governance Initiatives

  1. Create an Anti-Corruption Program ($5,000 – $100,000): Establishing an internal anti-corruption program helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to money laundering, bribery, and other forms of corruption.
  2. Tie Executive Compensation to Sustainability Targets ($20,000 – $1,000,000): Tie executive compensation to sustainability targets such as reducing carbon emissions or increasing energy use efficiency. This helps motivate executives to prioritize the organization’s commitment to sustainability.
  3. Develop a Sustainable Investment Policy ($10,000 – $100,000): Establishing a sustainable investment policy ensures that any investments made by the organization are done in a responsible manner, taking environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into account.
  4. Retrain and Upskill Employees ($1,000 – $3,000,000): The average cost of training an employee is $1,250. Investing in retraining and upskilling programs increases safety and compliance, reducing your business’s exposure to risk.
  5. Publish a Sustainability Report ($5,000 – $10,000): A sustainability report should be published on an annual basis to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive look at the organization’s environmental and social performance. At Sandpaper, we’ve helped businesses around the MENA region develop their sustainability reports. Reach out today for a free consultation.

Start Your Sustainability Journey with Sandpaper

ESG initiatives don’t have to be daunting or expensive—you can start small and scale up as your budget increases. Sandpaper’s team of sustainability professionals will help you begin your ESG journey.

If you’re curious about creating and publishing a sustainability report, Sandpaper can help. C
all today or download our free eBook guide here.