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Four Steps to Improve Your ESG Rating

February 18, 2021
What Companies Looking for Investors Should Be Aware Of

By Nikos Avlonas, President and Founder of CSE


Companies looking for investors MUST understand their ESG rating and how to improve it. UN PRI and US SIF both track assets under management (AUM) in the trillions domestically and internationally. Blackrock is demanding sustainability metrics for any future investments in its billions of AUM just for retirement funds.


Want a piece of that action? Here are some of the ratings agencies, standards and indexes out there: Moody’s, MSCI, ISS-Oekom, Sustainalytics, CSRHub, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, SASB, CDP and many more.


Four steps to increasing your ESG score:


1. Identify your 3-4 most important investors or prospective investors. Which ESG ratings systems do they rely on?


2. Analyze the preferred systems to identify gaps in your own ESG practices. Track your progress with the questionnaire most aligned with your company priorities, informed by additional topics from other questionnaires.


3. Implement practices to cover the main gaps. This is a way to set priorities and focus use of your resources.


4. Integrate the criteria of the preferred systems into your reporting. Over time, every 1-2 years, you’ll be able to demonstrate ESG commitment and improvement of most interest to your investors.


Four steps listed above are fairly simple. Overlaps from one ESG rating system to another can be daunting. CSE’s integrated sustainability management system (ISS) tools manages the volume of detail. CSE can help you link your relevant standards, develop a list of critical topics for your industry and help avoid duplication.


CSE’s iterative methodology taught in our Sustainability Practitioner Program is a great tool: raise awareness and provide training; map and engage stakeholders; do a sustainability assessment; set goals and a strategy to meet them; publish a sustainability report. The methodology aligns with the steps need to increase your ESG score.

Be bold in your goals; be transparent in your reporting. In sustainability, you DO get credit for effort. The sustainability journey is ongoing, with forward-thinking corporations constantly raising the bar. Start with them as examples – then become a leader yourself!


CSE is a trusted training provider for Fortune 500 companies, local Governments and Universities including Walmart Canada, Supervalu, Unilever, ABM, Lockheed Martin, Baker Hughes, Noble Energy, United Airlines, Coca Cola, Savola, Dubai Customs, LBG, BP, Stanford University, Heineken Group, The World Bank. CSE has been approved by CMI (Chartered Management Institute) and GRI, in offering certified trainings for CSOs, CSR Managers, Communication Directors, HSE Managers and other executives.


CSE is also Green America certified business. CSE is also PRI signatory, supporting its mission to provide leadership and expertise in responsible investment consulting and help understand the investment implications of ESG factors.


Contact us at [email protected]


Prepare your corporate response to the challenge of achieving the maximum ESG – Sustainability performance potential, by better aligning with all the latest international non-financial reporting recommendations and standards, including GRI and SASB, and TCFD.


*Interested to find out more about CSE’s integrated consulting services?

*Do you need guidance on a Sustainability issue?

Contact us at [email protected]

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