On Tuesday 23 April, FERMA held its 2nd webinar: How risk management can contribute to sustainable growth?

Live replay, reports and presentation available here

The session (granting 2 rimap CPD points) was designed to help risk management and sustainability practitioners to apply ERM concepts and processes to environmental, social and governance-related risks (ESG).

Speakers Rodney Irwin, Managing Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and Paul J. Sobel, Chairman of COSO, presented the main features of their joint guidance Enterprise risk management—Applying enterprise risk management to environmental, social and governance-related risks.

The live polling results showed a rising awareness about the business impact of ESG elements, with 70% of the audience having a regular or occasional collaboration with ESG specialists. This result confirmed the trend measured in FERMA’s 2018 European Risk Manager Report.

ESG matters are now a high priority for 35% of the organisations represented in the audience of the webinar, and only 8% of the audience assigned them the lowest level of priority. An encouraging 68% of participants said they are playing or are planning to play a specific role regarding ESG-related risks.

Still, 24% declared having no relationship/ involvement with ESG specialists and 32% playing no role regarding ESG-related risks.

The first challenge raised by 40% of the audience is related to the measurement and quantification of the material impacts of ESG elements. This is indeed a complex process as it requires gathering internal data about the company’s activities and having some resources and expertise for the analysis which are not necessarily available.

With 23% of the audience, the lack of support from the board and top management ranked as the number two challenge, illustrating that the transition from simple awareness to effective business decisions is still ongoing with different levels of maturity among organisations.

Sustainability has become a major theme for FERMA and was a key topic of the 2018 European Risk Management Seminar.

For the FERMA Forum in Berlin (17-20 November), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) will hold a masterclass on how to integrate ESG-related risks in the ERM framework. Steven Tebbe, Managing Director of CDP Europe, a global non-profit organisation helping investors, companies and cities assess their environmental impact, will speak in plenary.

CDP has become a key player in the field of environmental rating by scoring over 6,800 companies from A to D on elements such as climate change, and forest and water resources. Many investors and asset managers are now using their methodologies and data to integrate sustainability within their investment assessments.