The 'S' in ESG: What, Why, and How

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What is the 'S'?

There are many ways to define the 'S,' but it's ultimately about a company's impact on people.

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Relationships with people and institutions1

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Employee, customer, and community interactions and impact2

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Outcomes for all stakeholders (not just shareholders)3

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"What is an organization doing to improve lives?"4

51% of investors found the 'S' to be the most challenging ESG element to assess and use in investment strategies.

How to quantify the 'S' with workplace equity metrics

92% of ratings for social metrics focused on measuring company efforts and activities — not outcomes or impact.

Workplace equity metrics demonstrate actual progress towards equitable employment outcomes, such as equity in:


Access to higher-paying roles

Starting pay (including equity/stock, as well as sign-on bonuses)



Employee engagement

Performance scores

Promotion rates at every level

Retention rates at every level

Reporting on the 'S' can become a business advantage

Hover over each card to learn more.

Click on each card to learn more.

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financial performance

See how >

Companies that disclose they've conducted a pay equity analysis report nearly 8% higher mean five-year Return-on-Equity.

Companies that disclose representation by job group tend to see higher returns.

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See how >

78% of respondents put "brand name and reputation" at the top of the list for reasons to engage in ESG efforts.

92% of leaders in a 2022 survey thought that ESG issues would affect corporate reputations in the next 12 months.

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employee loyalty and productivity  

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Employees are three times more likely to stay and 1.4 more times more engaged if they work at a purpose-driven company.

58% of U.S. employees would consider switching jobs for more pay transparency.

Your stakeholders are demanding ESG progress and reporting


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85% of investment professionals included ESG factors in their 2020 investing decisions.

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99% of millennial investors consider social responsibility in their investment decisions.

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Investors poured $649 billion into ESG-focused funds in the first 11 months of 2021.

Employees and job seekers

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More than half of employees consider a potential employer's ESG commitments.

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95% of employees believe businesses should benefit employees, customers, suppliers, and the communities they operate within — not just shareholders.

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The top 3 things young millennials and Gen Z workers look for in employers are employee wellbeing, ethical leadership, and diversity and inclusion.

Regulatory bodies

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The SEC is considering recommendations on board diversity and human capital management disclosures.

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Europe and other countries have mandated ESG reporting requirements.


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77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies that publicly commit to making the world a better place.

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65% of Americans say when a company takes a stand on an issue, they will do research to see if it's being authentic.

Financial stakeholders

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91% of banks, 24 global credit rating agencies, and more than 90% of insurers monitor ESG factors.

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67% of banks screen their loan portfolios for ESG risks and ESG considerations have caused insurers to limit coverage.

Want to dive deeper into the 'S'?

Check out our blog post series to learn how your company can connect the dots between social impact goals, metrics, progress, and transparency.


Why Investing in and Reporting on the 'S' in ESG is Good for Business

See more >


Top 9 Workplace Equity Metrics to Use for Reporting on the 'S' in ESG

See more >


How Software Helps You Achieve and Report on Esg Progress

See more >


Three Great Examples of ESG Social Impact Communications

See more >


The ‘S’ in ESG: Why Investors Want You to Start Measuring How You Treat Your People

Learn why leading investment groups consider ESG measures when investing, and why tracking the ‘S’ in ESG makes more sense now than ever. Speakers include:
Tolu Lawrence, JUST Capital
Wayne A. Seaton, EY
Craig A. Woolridge, Syndio
Maria Colacurcio, Syndio

Ready to make an impact with workplace equity?

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