Knowledge Series II – Beyond Profits: The Power and Purpose of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape

Knowledge Series II – Beyond Profits: The Power and Purpose of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape

Knowledge Series II – Beyond Profits: The Power and Purpose of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape

  • Posted by kalyani
  • On January 10, 2024


Navin Sankhala
Partner - International Assurance

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Introduction to Part 2: Nurturing Social Resilience in ESG

Welcome to the second part of our series, “Beyond Profits: The Power and Purpose of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape.” In this segment, we delve deep into the social dimension of ESG, exploring the profound impact businesses can have on society.

Part 2, titled “Nurturing Social Resilience in ESG,” is a journey into the heart of social responsibility within the ESG framework. As we navigate through this exploration, we will uncover how businesses, through intentional and ethical practices, can contribute positively to communities, foster diversity and inclusion, and address social challenges.

Social Consciousness:

The “S” in ESG, symbolizing Social consciousness, emphasizes a commitment to fostering equitable, diverse, and inclusive societies within today’s business landscape. It recognizes that businesses play integral roles in the communities they serve. From fair labor practices and employee well-being to community engagement and human rights, companies are adopting holistic approaches to social responsibility. This includes investing in workforce development, promoting diversity and inclusion, and supporting social causes. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of social responsibility, with companies adapting to remote work, prioritizing employee health, and contributing to pandemic relief efforts. This heightened social consciousness not only enhances a company’s reputation but also strengthens stakeholder relationships and builds resilience in times of crisis.

Social Consciousness in Business Industry

Many companies across the globe have been increasingly adopting best ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices as they recognize the importance of sustainability, responsible business conduct, and ethical governance. These practices are not only driven by regulatory requirements but also by consumer demand, investor preferences, and a growing awareness of the long-term benefits of ESG integration. Companies known for their ESG best practices are Microsoft, Unilever, Nestle, Accenture, Salesforce, Novartis, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and in India Tata Group, Infosys, Wipro, Mahindra Group.

Gender-pay equality is a prominent component of ESG principles, reflecting a commitment to fair and equitable treatment within organizations. ESG encompasses a broader perspective on corporate responsibility, emphasizing not only environmental sustainability and governance practices but also social factors, including gender equality. The Social and governance aspects have increased the gender pay equality from 25% in 2020 to 45% in 2022 and has boosted employee perception of inclusion and psychological safety.


Infographic: Sustainability at workplace

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Triple bottom line approach

The triple bottom line (TBL) approach is a framework for evaluating a company’s performance and impact based on three key dimensions: environmental, social, and economic or financial. It encourages organizations to assess their success and value creation not only in terms of financial profits (the traditional “bottom line”) but also in terms of their contributions to the environment and society. The TBL approach is often associated with sustainability and responsible business practices. Here’s a breakdown of each dimension:

Environmental Bottom Line (Planet): This dimension focuses on the company’s impact on the environment and its commitment to sustainability. It involves assessing practices related to resource conservation, pollution reduction, waste management, energy efficiency, and the overall ecological footprint of the organization. Companies that consider the environmental bottom line strive to minimize their negative environmental impact, reduce carbon emissions, and promote responsible use of natural resources.

Social Bottom Line (People): The social dimension of the TBL considers the company’s relationships with people both inside and outside the organization. This includes aspects such as fair labor practices, workplace safety, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, human rights, and the well-being of employees, customers, and communities. Organizations that prioritize the social bottom line aim to create positive societal outcomes, foster ethical cultures, and contribute to social well-being.

Economic or Financial Bottom Line (Profit): The financial bottom line is the traditional profit-oriented aspect of business performance. It evaluates a company’s financial health, profitability, and economic viability. While financial success is essential for sustaining a business, the TBL approach emphasizes that it should not come at the expense of environmental degradation or social harm. Instead, financial performance should be achieved while considering the broader impact on the environment and society.


Infographic: Triple Bottom Line Approach

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The triple bottom line aligns closely with concepts of sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and ethical business practices. It promotes a holistic view of business performance, emphasizing that long-term success should be achieved while taking into account environmental, social, and economic considerations.

Governance Excellence:

The “G” in ESG stands for governance excellence—an essential pillar that ensures transparency, ethics, and accountability in corporate operations. Good governance is the bedrock upon which sustainable businesses are built. It involves upholding ethical standards, preventing corruption, and establishing robust board structures. Companies are increasingly embracing governance reforms, such as appointing independent directors and implementing stringent reporting standards. Effective governance instills trust in investors and stakeholders, reduces risks, and safeguards a company’s reputation. By promoting strong governance principles, businesses pave the way for long-term success and sustainability.


The social aspect of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape is not merely a box to check; it is a commitment to fostering resilience, empathy, and positive transformation. From elevating workplace diversity to engaging with local communities, we discussed the myriad ways in which ESG in Today’s Business Landscape can be a force for positive social impact. In our Part 3 of this knowledge series, we would be discussing about benefits of ESG in Today’s Business Landscape adoption to businesses and Sustainable Investing. Watch this space for our next of this series.



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