In this edition of the Africa Legal Podcast Series, we speak to Stephen Shergold and Jennifer Kamerman on the evolving role of ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) from both a corporate and public standpoint.
Stephen leads the Environment and Societal Practice Group at global law firm Dentons and Jennifer holds an LLM in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town as is the UCT Law@work course lead for the online course ‘Public Participation for Environmental Governance’.
We explore whether ESG has already fallen victim to alternative priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic with a refreshingly robust viewpoint that this is most certainly not the case presented by our panellists.
Additionally, there is strong evidence that companies are recognising that if 2019 brought the E (Environmental) component of ESG to the forefront, 2020 has placed the S (Social) aspect very much in the spotlight.
A key challenge in ensuring genuine and long-term benefit from ESG programmes is to ensure extensive participation from a diverse range of stakeholders in their design, says Jennifer.
Highlighting the global nature of ESG, Stephen expands upon the impact that the extra-territorial reach of certain legal regimes is having on motivating organisations to move from a ‘tick box’ approach to ESG or so-called ‘Greenwashing’ to a genuine understanding and commitment to the benefits that sustainability programmes can bring.
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