APRIL 26, 2023
Telesto Strategy Guides Chicago Executives on Advancing Corporate ESG Journey
As part of Chicago ESG Summit, Telesto CEO & Founder encourages executives to reframe ESG from risk mitigation to a generational value-creation opportunity
CHICAGO, IL, April 26, 2023 – Telesto Strategy’s CEO & Founder, Alex Kruzel, was featured today in the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s CSR/ESG Summit, alongside a diverse array of advisors, corporate and academic leaders and offered strategic guidance for organizations that have already invested in CSR and ESG initiatives and who are figuring out what steps to take next.
One of the foundational principles that Alex shared was the need to first build executive buy-in about where you are going and what good looks like. When Telesto works with its clients, it leverages its proprietary ESG maturity model to establish an ESG/Sustainability baseline and help to delineate aspirations across a number of parameters. The four tiers discussed include:
- Taking Stock: Understanding what topics matter most and where you stand on them
- Ramping Up Momentum: Defining your goals and roadmap towards progress
- Elevating to Gold Standard: Identifying how to elevate to regional and global standards
- Innovating at the Forefront: Moving to the global forefront and innovating to solve global challenges
As companies look to advance their strategies, Alex urged companies to take caution when setting goals and launching implementation programs, “I recognize some may find this counterintuitive, especially with the urgency, to go far, you must go slow. There is too much at stake for our global effort to meet decarbonization targets. There has never been greater public scrutiny around what happens after the target setting, executives can’t afford to misstep.”
In addition to the discussion of the mechanics of roadmapping and strategic planning, Alex reminded ESG executives of the very real risk of greenwashing if programs are substantiated and built for the long-term, “With the rapid pace of evolution and growth of ESG, I would argue that a greater deal of focus and discipline is needed to ensure that existing ESG initiatives (namely emissions disclosures, materiality, DEI and impact measurement) hold steady. Get those right before you think of evolving. Above all, we must stay the course on our ESG initiatives.”
The risk to businesses is simply too great. Alex pointed to the recent greenwashing case with Shell, which is now facing legal action on a claim that seeks to hold them personally liable for not managing climate risk and not preparing for a net-zero future. Other companies have recently faced similar scrutiny and learnings can be derived from looking at what went wrong with ESG/Sustainability programs at Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, BP, Walmart and others. To mitigate the increasing climate litigation risk, Telesto partners to ensure there is a strong, transparent foundation in place, which includes embedding strong ESG governance throughout the organization, improving reporting and transparency, accounting for scope 3 & 4, from both an emissions and socio-economic perspective.
As a final call to action, Alex reminded executives that since the regulatory, investor and customer drivers have never been stronger, that to get the most out of these initiatives that the conversation needs to be about top-line value generation, not just risk management. Alex challenged those to consider how they will consider the development of new products, new services, experiment with new business models and consider pre-competitive collaboration to drive to achievement of ESG targets, both within an organization and globally.
Alex was featured alongside Casey Herman, US ESG Leader, PwC as well as Kelly Dittmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sustene Global.
About Telesto Strategy
Telesto Strategy, a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), is an ESG-focused strategy consulting firm founded with a bold vision to support businesses and governments in the regeneration of the planet’s health, resources, and wellbeing. Telesto aims to achieve this ambition through its dual missions: (i) reframing how businesses, organizations, and countries can achieve enduring and inclusive growth, and (ii) redirecting corporate strategy to solve the biggest challenges of our time while delivering a positive ROI.
Telesto Strategy works globally to connect and activate Climate Capital toward localized climate solutions and climate-positive growth. To do so, Telesto engages with its partners across its key pillars: climate capital marketplace, expert network, engagement accelerator and versatile ESG platform.
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