Transcript for ESG to ESDG: Why Add a “D” and why ESDG Matters for Sustainable Brands
Hello, everyone. I’m Edmund Bradford. And in this video, we’re going to be talking about the hot and tricky subject of ESG.
And to help me with that, we have Yelena Novikova, who is a G20 young global changer and an independent expert on ESG and sustainability.
So thank you very much, Yelena, and welcome.
Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure, Edmund.
Now, one thing that you told me about, which I thought was very interesting, is that you and some of your colleagues, I’ve actually changed ESG and you’ve added D into it. So you are often referred to it as ESDG. Do you want to explain what that D is all about on ESDG?
D is for digital. And I would say that we didn’t change the ESG. We just gave more importance and attention to the very important D factors that were always there but were becoming more apparent because of the work that we started doing on Public Value Principles for which this ESDG term is kind of very central front and center would say.
It started right during the time when we were all globally. Pretty much all the countries went into lockdown.
And as we know, even right now, one in four Americans are working from home, 16% of companies globally are fully remote, and 62% of people are reporting that they still work from home at least some of the time.
And it’s now when many countries are already getting vaccines. So right at the time when we studied this work, it was even more apparent digital kind of took over our life.
And even before that, laymen would think about digital factors because
they are given data to digital platforms like Facebook or even like regular
sites that ask you to give permission for cookies, for example. But as we went into the pandemic, it kind of became more apparent that it’s much more a nuanced topic of companies, our digital data, and us and how we communicate through digital means.
For example, one example I would give is productivity software because a lot of companies started to install productivity software on laptops for working from home employees. And no one actually knows how much data a certain software might receive.
There is a known kind of concept of mission creep the developers are talking about. So right now, for example, this software is used for productivity software strictly. But no one is to say if the company may be less responsible and they might use it for extracting more data about the place and stuff like that.
So it’s a big topic right now where some companies want to use this productivity software, others maybe don’t want to use this productivity software. And then there are other companies that say we might use it, but we will have a strict mandate what we are using this for.
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