Sunday, 14 June 2015

Making progress

Last week the NAPF launched a discussion document to address what it says is a "workforce-sized hole" in corporate reporting. In the introduction to the paper the NAPF says:

within the Environmental, Social and Governance acronym the understanding and awareness of Social issues is perhaps least developed. Indeed, the “S” is often the forgotten cousin of the ESG family. Workforces, however, clearly matter and are directly linked to the creation of value.  
The paper sets out some suggested areas for better company reporting, plus some specific metrics. The broad areas are the composition of the workforce (such as full-time vs part-time); stability of the workforce (turnover etc); skills and capabilities; and employee satisfaction. Of particular note, the NAPF also talks about "contingent employment" and specifically the use of zero hours contracts.

Needless to say, the publication of this paper is a very good thing. Given how little attention "S" issues usually get it's great to see an influential and mainstream organisation like the NAPF push this agenda.

Coincidentally, I just saw the head of the PRI also flag this up as a problem in responsible investment:
“Climate is a huge area of interest and growing,” she says. “It used to be the G [in ESG that was capturing investors’ imagination], now it’s the E. The S now seems to be the poor cousin.”
Of course, there is a bit difference between acknowledging a problem and doing something about it. In addition, unions are going to have a different take on many workplace issues than a lot of RI people - though I am sure we can find a lot to agree on. Overall, though, I think the basic message that RI has a workforce-sized blindspot is starting to get through.

No comments: