Environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices are increasingly becoming important for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Rising expectations of investors, consumers, suppliers, and regulators are making it imperative for businesses to develop, implement and demonstrate good ESG performance.

We understand SMEs are looking for and needing right-sized, relevant guidance on how to credibly identify, fulfil and report their ESG performance.

SMEs are anxiously hearing regulator’s high-profile warnings about penalties for unsubstantiated claims, are reading about scheduled mandatory sustainability reporting for all businesses, responding to calls for accuracy and timeliness with expanded reporting expectations, and reacting to demands for information from other businesses they deal with.

Yet, most of the limited available guidance is designed for larger and more sophisticated entities with a focus on limited, available guidance is designed for larger and more sophisticated entities with a focus on what not to do, rather than positive engagement with credible ESG performance and reporting that not only meets external stakeholder requirements, but also serves to support internal stakeholders’ business, operational and sustainability goals, and growth objectives.

We are bringing together domestic and international experts with policymakers to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and collaboratively map the path forward to provide insights and exemplars on a right-sized ESG framework, develop practical and accessible guidance, and shape a ‘fit-for-purpose’ tool kit for use by SMEs.

These experts and SMEs with valuable ‘field evidence’ will explore vital ESG for SMEs topics:

  • a shared vantage point for ESG, discussing what it is and what it is not
  • the tensions, opportunities, and trade-offs within ESG and implications for SMEs
  • leading jurisdictions for best practice regulation for ESG
  • better practice features and potential gains for SMEs
  • a reasonable SME imposition and ‘right sized’ ESG for SMEs reporting and regulation, including tools and frameworks
  • credible and competent SME engagement, an essential eco-system for implementation and standards, tools, technique, and resources for continuous improvements.

We are delighted to hear on any input, practical insights, and experiences you would like to share with us, to help guide the next steps on equipping our vital Australian small and family businesses for their ESG future, and informing the advice to Government that has been requested of the ASBFEO.

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