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De-Mystifying ESG

At the Great Place India Inclusion Summit– 2022, we had an opportunity to Demystify ESG.Mr.Venu Nuguri, Managing Director & CEO, India & South Asia, and a member of the executive team, Hitachi Energy engaged in an insightful conversation with Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, CEO, Great Place To Work® Institute India to explain and simplify the implementation of the ESG framework at Hitachi Energy.

According to Venu, a global organization with caters to diverse markets and cultures stands to gain immensely from employee involvement in implementing ESG – related business and people transformation.He strongly believes that for a company like Hitachi Energy, that had been thriving for more than 100 + years, it has been led by its core values of putting the need and happiness of the people in its culture, first.

While there existed business – centric gains from cultivating ESG principles, he has also felt that it parallelly affected his contribution towards making a great future for all, including his young daughter, and generations to follow.

Here are some of the key learnings from the session we would love to share with you:

  1. Setting up an ESG – specific board: Organizations will find immense value if they set up an independent committee / board specifically to advise on, oversee and measure the progress being made.Hitachi Energy is one the first organizations to set up an independent ESG specific Board that oversees, and tackles policies, actions and implementation aimed towards being more ESG compliant at the individual and at the organizational level.
  2. Launching Diversity 360 strategy: It is important to embed equity and inclusion at the core of policy structures to eliminate bias and barriers and encourage diverse participation at all levels, from the executive to the entry – level.This helps the organization to mitigate unconscious bias at the grass – root level.
  3. Create exceptions and then normalize policy expansions: Sometimes employees suffer owing to a lack of policies.As a CEO / HR / organization, it is critical to place an employee’ s needs first, and then modify policies, as required, to make them meaningful for all.Venu supports this with an example of how Hitachi Energy handled an incident where one of the employees got into an accident and required a hefty sum of money to go ahead with the operation.However, there were no policies put in place to tackle such occurrences.The organization shifted their focus from a policy – first to the employee – first approach.
  4. Reinforce the spirit of the policy: Not all employees understand why we do what we do.A critical element in ensuring policies is well implemented is to also ensure they are well understood.Awareness supports active participation, consistency, and advocacy, and it helps organizations tremendously when they invest in communication.
  5. Integrating individual and organizational goals on ESG: Innovation and adopting new ways of thinking and working form important aspects of successful ESG implementation.All employees can be given a chance to take part and drive change by integrating efforts into the key responsibility areas of the leadership team and all employee groups.

To converge on the key message of integrating ESG principles, Venu highlighted that this cannot be an extension of the organization / separate set of practices, but a core element of the culture, embedded in the values of the organization.It should make business sense and positively impact the ecosystem in which the organizations operate.

The road to bring DEIB and ESG efforts have just begun.Consistency with an unclouded vision of what is ahead on this journey is the only answer to conquering a For All culture

Axn Sadokpam

Associate Analyst - Content, Community & Campaign, Great Place To Work® Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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