On Thursday, May 25th, BH Compliance and Beeok hosted the webinar “How ESG Factors are Impacting Companies and Their Boards” with the aim of discussing the challenges that companies and their senior management are facing in implementing these sustainable criteria (environmental, social, and governance) that are now required by regulatory institutions, investors, and society in general, as there is a growing awareness of companies’ responsible actions.
The panel was composed of business director Claudio Muñoz, former Minister of the Environment, director of companies, and Advisor at Beeok, Carolina Schmidt, and CEO of BH Compliance, Susana Sierra. Claudio Muñoz began the presentation by emphasizing that companies are at a turning point, where they are addressing broader issues beyond their core business. In a climate of trust crisis, companies are gaining ground. “This not only shows a transformation and a change in the concept of a company, but also highlights a responsibility that companies have and must go beyond,” he said. He added, “At the end of the day, we are agents of social transformation that help solve people’s and society’s problems.” In this context, he emphasized the importance of ESG factors and the commitment of companies to each of these letters, placing them at the center of their strategy.
Susana Sierra, on the other hand, focused on the “G” for Governance in ESG as the first letter for change since it underpins the “E” and “S”. She referred to the challenges faced by directors and managers today in a context of new risks, economic fragility, technological advancements, and difficulties in talent retention. Alongside the pressure from regulators, investors, and consumers, this highlights the urgency for companies to have strong corporate governance (“G”). “Governance is the framework that enables proper management of people, policies, and procedures within an organization to achieve strategic objectives. It is the correlation between values, purpose, and mission,” emphasized the CEO of BH Compliance. She ensured that good governance ensures responsible and ethical decision-making.
Additionally, she pointed out the difficulty companies face in measuring governance, as unlike the “E” and “S” factors, it does not have a single “owner.” There are various policies, reports, and standards that make it challenging to report. Therefore, she highlighted the five fundamental pillars for measuring governance: board effectiveness, compensation and remuneration, ethics and transparency, risk and crisis management, and stakeholder relations.
Lastly, Carolina Schmidt emphasized that companies must contribute to transformation, prestige, and reputation to generate trust. She noted that sustainability has a real financial impact and is driving changes in companies. “Those who manage their transformation better will be more sustainable over time, less risky, and have better financial indicators.” She also stated that “21st-century problems are managed with 21st-century tools.”
The Beeok advisor also highlighted that board management should focus on defining mission, values, and purpose; strategy; business models; supplier management and value chain; establishing a solid roadmap and monitoring indicators; and implementing risk management control policies. “ESG is an opportunity for risk management and creating sustainable value over time,” she emphasized.