Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) was the key topic at Idea’s Exchange 2.0, delivered by FCM Meetings & Events.
Headline speaker Neil Pharaoh, director of Tanck and chair of the Climate Action Network Australia, discussed how leadership in the future meant more focus on the ‘S’ in ESG.
“The ‘E’ for environment incorporates climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, resources, water, waste, pollution, deforestation, you would’ve all come across that in your jobs and life, and things like that,” Pharaoh said.
“The ‘G’ for governance is things like pay bribery, corruption, lobbying, social, which is this big area in between, is everything from working conditions, child labour, labour standards, local communities, how you connect with communities, conflict, health and safety, employee well-being.
“What we’re seeing globally, and this is sort of attempting to be a futurist in the Australian construct is, we’ve seen lots of folks on the environment and governance in Australia, but we haven’t seen lots of folks on the ‘S’ or the social in-between. This will have a big impact on communities, it will have a big impact on government, a big impact on changes around the world.
“We haven’t quite connected to the ‘S’ yet. I think this was the reflection earlier that, we are doing it, but we’re not connecting the dots around what the S stands for. It’s starting to shift the dial in an Australian landscape.
“We’re already seeing this through methodology like quiet quitting, or protests around different events and activities and people looking at doing or buying things differently as a result.”
Held at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Melbourne, the event put sustainability centre stage.
“Businesses are now starting to think beyond the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the stand-outs for them is how sustainability is going to play a much larger role for them in the present and the future,” said FCM Meetings & Events general manager Simone Seiler.
“We wanted to deliver something that was a little bit different, with secret rooms and cookies that offered edible clues, with four sessions of 30 minutes to drill down into the content, time to discuss, ask questions, before a meal to digest the findings of the evenings.
“In keeping with the importance of sustainability, there were no paper of plastics used, and all food and drinks were locally sourced and sustainably made.”