Presidential Climate Commission given a boost with local solution to ESG reporting

February 16th, 2022
IQbusiness - Gradient

Leading South African level 1 BB-BEE management consultancy, IQbusiness, has partnered with impact reporting and grading experts Paragon Impact to launch a revolutionary environmental, social and governance solution for the South African economy. Together, the team offers a unique analytical tool designed to give business a “warts and all” 360 degree view on how it interacts with government, society, the economy beyond its financial bottom line and drive to maximise stakeholder benefits.

The value that this tool can have in South African society, our economy and government was highlighted by the President in his 10 February 2022 State of the Nation Address. He stated that “we have made important strides in the fight against climate change, and, at the same time, securing our economic competitiveness.”

But there is still so much more to be done to deliver change in the lives and futures of South Africans. In a country with an unemployment rate of 46.6% on the expanded definition, the imperative of ensuring that big business, big employers, and traditionally big polluters make positive impacts towards better climate change outcomes, gender equality, and inclusive economic growth are cannot be ignored or filed away in an annual integrated report.

The team has offered the Presidential Climate Commission access to the tool to enable a deeper understanding of the impacts that business has on our climate change goals and requirements.

The grading tool draws on a myriad of prescribed international frameworks and domestic laws to allow a holistic and honest evaluation and measurement of the impact that a business has on the environment and the society in which it operates. This solution provides a unique answer to the systemic problems and reporting costs that hamper business and economic growth in South Africa today.

“At the moment, if you’re a listed company, you have teams of 20 to 30 people who spend months at a time compiling reports on ESG against a myriad of frameworks and laws once a year. But this process is unnecessarily cumbersome, out of date, and expensive as well as inadequate. This solution cuts through it all and puts multiple reporting requirements in one place. However, most critically, it assesses which requirements and goals actually apply, which ones are actually worth pursuing, and what the real impact is on the world on an ongoing basis – not just what the number says in an integrated report” says Kuda Mukova, a partner at IQbusiness and lead of the Insights and Solutions team.

The grading tool is a cloud-based digital solution that evaluates a business’ ESG readiness and performance against several international frameworks. It measures a business’ alignment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) objectives amongst other requirements. The 17 UN SDGs provide a global “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. While most businesses remain unaware of their impact on our shared natural and social capital, the Paragon +Grading tool helps organisations take the necessary steps towards achieving sound, fair and measurable outcomes when it comes to their ESG impacts.

“Existing ratings are very inward looking. It’s still all about the company and its bottom line. But we need to be smarter about how we look at the impact that businesses have on the world. What are the impacts of ESG from a business itself? How can a business make its impact more positive? I’ve seen many companies with excellent ESG ratings, huge reporting bills, but significantly negative real-world social and climate impacts. We can’t keep throwing good money after bad, and it’s entirely possible to flip this on its head” adds Brett Wallington, founder at Paragon Impact.

This sense of responsibility is echoed by Mukova. “If we can get ESG right, we can solve so many of our society’s problems – from sustainable management of precious natural resources, to treating our staff and communities well, and working responsibly wherever we are in the world” he shared.

“The feedback we’re getting is that ESG reporting can be streamlined and the tool helps businesses gain a clear view of their actual, real-world impacts for the first time ever. That’s pretty big for a South African solution” concluded Wallington.
For more information on the Impact 360 team, email us on: info@iqbusiness.net

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