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Davos 2018: Transforming the world by putting ESG in the spotlight

Putting environmental, social and governance concerns at the forefront of decision-making is good, both for the wider world and for business. No one is doing enough, but we seem to be on our way.

Evidence is mounting that taking action with regard to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is a smart way of doing business. Now, it’s time to use information – hard data, statistics and irrefutable evidence of trends – to shine the spotlight on where and how responsible steps can be taken to help organizations become both better corporate and global citizens.

Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations executive secretary for climate change who championed the 2015 Paris Agreement, said plenty of work remains to be done, but the progress made so far is encouraging.

“No one is doing enough, but we’re all walking in the right direction,” she said. “What we really have to increase now is the speed of the transformation. But it’s definitely picking it up, and I’m quite optimistic after a few days here in Davos.”

Debra Walton, global managing director for customer proposition with Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk, said the numbers-based argument for acting with regard to ESG issues is abundantly available. Now, it just has to get in front of the right decision-makers.

“The logic – the fundamental logic – of de-carbonizing our society is becoming more and more apparent for everyone,” she said. “This is an imperative and momentum is growing. All of us have a role to play. For Thomson Reuters, as the world’s largest information company, our role is to use the information to shine a light where the opportunities are for change.”

Learn more

Keep up with what’s happening at the World Economic Forum by checking in with Davos updates from our on-the-ground teams.

Our latest report, “Global 100 Greenhouse Gas Performance: New Pathways for Growth and Leadership 2017,” highlights how prosperity is connected to sustainability.

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