ESG’s Knocking on the Boardroom Door

Environmental, social and governance:
Supporting the bottom line and the greater good.

By April Hall

ConocoPhillips Co. director Jody Freeman sees environmental, social and governance issues, or ESG, as part of the board’s key responsibilities and an essential part of strategic planning.

“We play the same oversight and fiduciary role on behalf of shareholders on ESG issues as we do on everything else,” says Freeman, who sits on the public policy committee of the energy company.

Encouraging corporations to consider the greater good is nothing new. It has had many iterations and names, i.e. corporate responsibility, socially responsible investing and “the triple bottom line.” ESG is the latest salvo, broadening the concept to include everything from gender inequality to bribery to climate change; and it’s gaining momentum in Corporate America.

For ConocoPhillips, these issues have been a strategic concern since Freeman joined the board in 2012, a fact that’s an exception among many corporate boards.

2017 Fourth Quarter


For the "G" in ESG to mature, it needs to be envisioned as a characteristic of the entire supply chain, rather than how the board views the entire supply chain. To assess these governance supply chain traits, a collaborative governance assessment designed for landscape sustainability is being 'converted' to a supply chain governance assessment.

This is the first simplified and standardized social governance assessment that uses the four governance actor types and three styles of governance to really display dashboard graphics on how governance actors and styles come together to create governance footprints and frameworks. The new knowledge enables "meta'governors to understand the inherent compatible and conflicting traits of real world governance.

What a great point Tim! It would be part of the entire supply chain. Makes so much sense. 

Readers of your good article on this topic may find the information and the industry-specific reporting standards at helpful.

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