Recent shifts in national consciousness concerning environmental and social causes, combined with increasingly stringent company reporting requirements, have placed Environmental, Social and Governance considerations high on the agenda of British businesses.
The days of companies polluting rivers without consequence or employing cynical hiring practices are numbered, and all sectors of our economy and society have woken up to this new reality.
If British business is aware of the need to change, and shareholders and the public are calling for the change - parliamentarians must then lead from the front, and provide the education and framework for real change to take place.
MP for Rother Valley and Member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS), Alexander Stafford, founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in spring 2021. At its conception, the APPG on ESG included officers and members from both sides of the house, including Crossbench Peer Baroness Boycott and Labour MP Darren Jones, Chair of BEIS.
The APPG on ESG exists to deepen parliamentarians’ engagement with investors and industry on fundamental matters concerning the dynamic between British business’ operations and strategies, and environmental concerns, social issues, and governance decisions. The APPG will engage with government, investors and industry to ensure that ESG principles are fully embedded, and to aid in unlocking billions of pounds of investment. The concept of ESG should not be confused with Corporate Social Responsibility, it is much more than that. Whereas CSR involves retrospectively reviewing a business’ footprint in similar areas and working to offset negative impacts or champion diversity, ESG is a set of principles that should be factored into all decisions a business makes, ensuring that corporate goals are underpinned by a holistic consideration of the concerns at hand.
By addressing not just a company’s impact on the world, but also the world’s impact on a company, organisations will protect their future operations, drive profitability and unlock opportunities. Put simply, ESG is about value, as well as values.
The APPG on ESG aims to achieve the following:
- Deepen the understanding of ESG principles and values among British businesses, helping corporate leaders to build it into business strategies and decision-making at the highest levels. Only by doing this will the potential of good ESG be demonstrated.
- Champion the need for businesses to have dedicated ESG appointments to boards, ensuring that ESG is given sufficient consideration at board level and is recognised and discussed in the right forums.
- Ensure the importance of ESG is recognised not just in the corporate world, but also by government departments. Reciprocity in consideration is vital in making sure the APPG on ESG can begin to request policy built around its guiding principles.
- Assist in making sure that clear metrics for understanding and assessing ESG are outlined, understood and accepted by government and business, and designed to help guide investment.
- To act as the forum for business, government and the consumer to discuss issues of ESG and to drive forward measures which will ensure a sustainable, responsible, and successful UK economy.
- Ensure the UK does not lag behind the US and the EU when it comes to the consideration, acceptance and embedding of ESG principles into corporate mindsets. The UK must move now to stay ahead of the curve.
- Communicate the link between ESG principles and energy security in the UK, landing the message that clean energy and low-carbon policies, as well as other environmental issues, are linked to ESG.
- Promote a holistic understanding of the principles; it is not enough to look at the different elements in silo, each must be considered and addressed with the same focus.
We would welcome conversations with all businesses and organisations who would like to discuss how they build ESG principles into their strategies and operations, and to help the APPG achieve its communication and policy goals.
Alexander Stafford MP
Chairman of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Environmental, Social and Governance.
Officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Environmental, Social and Governance.
Gareth Davies MP
Conservative, Grantham & Stamford
Dr Rupa Huq MP
Labour, Ealing Central & Acton
Darren Jones MP
Labour, Bristol North West
Julie Marson MP
Conservative, Hertford & Stortford
Andrew Selous MP
Conservative, South West Bedfordshire
Philip Dunne MP, Conservative MP for Ludlow
Natalie Elphicke MP, Conservative MP for Dover
Simon Fell MP, Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness
Rob Largan MP, Conservative MP for High Peak
Mark Logan MP, Conservative MP for Bolton North East
Caroline Lucas MP, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
Jerome Mayhew MP, Conservative MP for Broadland
Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat)
Andrew Rosindell MP, Conservative MP for Romford
Baroness Sater (Conservative)
Lord Sikka (Labour)
Lord Whitty (Labour)
If you are interested in joining the APPG as a partner organisation, please email email@example.com
This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.