ESG: Don’t Get Sacked

7 min read


I love football, so bear with me. I see leaders contemplating ESG like a quarterback at the Super Bowl. If you wait too long to release the ball, you might get sacked.

The topic of ESG is also one of interest to me, not just because we were one of the first movers in the GRC space to provide an ESG solution but also because of the growing regulatory focus on climate-related financial disclosures. Having spent most of my career working for large global banks, I see the real value and brand equity that ESG can bring to your business and your customers, employees, and investors. As a CEO, I also understand that companies need to grow and remain competitive.

Conflicting views about whether ESG will result in real change or if it’s just hype is slowing the adoption of well-rounded ESG strategies by organizations. As businesses continue to experience pressure to implement proactive ESG measures, the conversation is becoming more divided. This includes conflicting views on balancing profit with purpose, what’s real and what’s under development, and who has the most to gain. Watching from the sidelines is no longer an option. 

The Balancing Act

There is often a tradeoff between business goals and doing what’s right for the greater good. Undoubtedly, a dramatic and polarizing dichotomy is at play concerning ESG. On the one hand, businesses might need to take some cost-intensive measures to keep their emissions in check and build a sustainable future, which directly impacts their profits and dividend payouts. On the other hand, the regulatory landscape is starting to heat up; and customers, partners, and employees are beginning to demand more ESG-friendly practices and reporting. 

Investments in ESG

Investors and customers are starting to cry foul and push back as ESG funds do not deliver on their promise of strong financial gains.

For example, after the California Public Employees’ Retirement System posted a decade of lackluster returns, Heather Gillers reported in the Wall Street Journal that “there is no such thing as a free lunch. Activists who think they can use public companies to pursue political agendas without endangering shareholder returns are indulging in a fantasy. Disappointing results at a giant government pension fund cannot all be tied to political agendas. Still, the retired workers who rely on Calpers have every right to demand that fund managers adopt a singular focus on maximizing returns.”

More recently, Florida Governor DeSantis also approved measures to “protect Florida’s investments blocking ESG investments” and ensuring that all investment decisions focus solely on maximizing the highest rate of return.

At the same time, the World Economic Forum recently released the Global Risk Report, which stated that “over a 10-year horizon, the health of the planet dominates concerns: environmental risks are perceived to be the five most critical long-term threats to the world as well as the most potentially damaging to people and planet, with “climate action failure,” “extreme weather,” and “biodiversity loss” ranking as the top three most severe risks.” The report also cited that, “racial justice also remains a pressing issue in many countries, notably the United States.”

I believe this provides a clear indication of where regulatory bodies will focus over the next few years. 

Regulations are Coming

Regulators are already starting to gain traction in the development of ESG metrics. We are also beginning to see companies like Mastercard tie employee compensation to ESG metrics creating a sense of urgency to do good. So, while today some may enjoy the choice of improving ESG standings, this luxury will fade quickly.

On the regulatory front, the Climate Change Act commits the UK government by law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050. Large UK companies are already required to report publicly on energy use and carbon emissions. This January, the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) brought in stronger rules around the social and environmental data that companies will need to report. Approximately 50,000 companies, both large and small, are covered under the new directive. Also, in January this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has cited April 2023 as the release date for a long-anticipated rule on companies' climate-related disclosures according to a recent federal notice. All of the above only scratches the surface, with many more regulations expected to come. 

Reputations are at Stake

As a CEO, I am acutely aware that the culture I help build within my organization is critical to my success and that happy purpose-driven employees lead to more satisfied customers and growth. Building purpose in an organization means ensuring that employees feel proud and are confident that they are working towards a greater goal, protecting people, using natural resources wisely, and caring for the environment. Who can argue that these are not all good things and that organizations that drive towards creating a better future will be recognized?

At the end of the day, building a more sustainable and equitable future will require nonprofits, governments, and the private sector to agree and work collaboratively. In the meantime, we also desire to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment within our organization. The diversity of thoughts and ideas is an essential strength within an organization. Ensuring an inclusive environment, especially in the workforce, is paramount. Employees, customers, and partners are demanding it in the form of choosing one company over another and considering ESG metrics before taking the next step. 

Reaching Your Common Ground

Just like any conflict, whether business or personal, we all know that at some point, we must come together in reconciliation and reach a conclusion that serves the masses and not just a few. So, while the politicians hash out their views, you need to consider your balanced approach and what strategy best fits the culture of your organization and your people. To ignore the inevitable has never worked, ever. You have nothing to lose by being the first mover on the road to a more sustainable and equitable future. I encourage you to take the first step, and here’s how.

If you have already invested in a governance, risk, and compliance solution, you are halfway there. A GRC platform allows an organization to address evolving business and market needs. It will enable you to accelerate decision-making with contextual, real-time intelligence delivered through advanced reports and analytics, all via the cloud. You can easily add an ESG solution to your existing GRC platform, gaining the ability to centrally manage disclosure requirements of various ESG frameworks, including GRI, SASB, and TCFD, and optimize the process with automated reporting.

If you do not have a GRC solution, you can look at standalone ESG solutions, but point solutions only offer an incomplete picture and result in a siloed approach to managing risk. Organizations implementing a more connected approach and ensuring collaboration between risk, compliance, audit, cybersecurity, and sustainability teams are more successful in the long run. Access to standardized, complete, and accurate data across the enterprise is critical to having confidence in the output and analysis.

Also important is to understand the role third parties play. Third-party risk management can often focus just on operational disruptions, bribery, corruption, and compliance risks, but an organization’s supply chain can account for more than 90% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Incidents of child labor, worker exploitation, and health and safety issues can also emerge from your supply chains.

A common platform for all this data can significantly improve risk visibility, giving management a more nuanced and contextual understanding of ESG risks across their supply chain. An integrated platform also helps ESG and supply chain governance teams communicate and share data, thus minimizing redundancies and enabling a more comprehensive approach.

Don’t let the dichotomy of political tensions slow down your ESG journey or divert your attention away from what is just good governance. At the end of the day, the defensive end is heading your way, and he’s 6 feet 5 inches and 275 pounds. You better release that ball or tuck and run.

Register for the upcoming webinar: The Interconnectedness of ESG, ERM, and Third-Party Risk Management 

Read the eBook: ESG and ERM: Bridging the Gap 

Download the Resource: ESG Buyer’s Guide

Prasad MetricStream

Prasad Sabbineni Co-Chief Executive Officer

Prasad Sabbineni serves as the Co-Chief Executive Officer at MetricStream. As the head of products and engineering, Prasad leads our product vision and execution of our market leading GRC products.

Prior to joining MetricStream, Prasad was a Managing Director at Citigroup. He oversaw technology for enterprise functions of Risk Management, Finance, HR, Data, Information Security, Compliance Risk, Internal Audit, Enterprise Supply Chain and Third-Party Management. He was the senior technology executive responsible for implementing regulatory initiatives, such as Basel, CCAR, CLAR, BCBS 239, Volcker, Recovery and Resolution Planning at Citigroup. Prior, Prasad led technology for Market Risk, Credit Risk, Prime Services Risk, Portfolio Risk Margin, and Operational Risk functions at Lehman Brothers. Preceding Lehman, Prasad rolled out derivative trading systems globally and as a Risk Manager, he was also responsible for managing market risk of fixed income and equity derivatives at Bear Stearns.


ESG and ERM: Optimizing Risk Resilience

5 min read


Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are rapidly emerging as critical factors that can impact and disrupt business, livelihoods, and life itself. Organizations are now aware of the significance of ESG compliance, though it is still considered primarily from a financial reporting lens. And despite there being several overlaps in terms of best practices, requirements, and reporting, many companies have still not integrated ESG reporting and compliance with their enterprise risk management (ERM) practices. As the risks continue to escalate, ESG will only increase in organizational importance, and become a permanent part of GRC. More specifically, it will become a risk category positioned under the overall risk umbrella of enterprise risk management.

The question, of course, is why many organizations are still hesitant to adopt ESG as a business-critical requirement. Unfortunately, too many businesses still perceive environmental or social activism as irrational with little or no connection to business productivity and success. But today, extreme weather events, droughts and lessening snow packs, and global temperature increases are a reality, and instances of discrimination, incivility, and harassment are widely reported across the world, resulting widespread public condemnation, reputational damage, and demands for accountability.

We are at an inflection point with consumers recognizing their influence and demanding that businesses and industries to do better – for the environment and social governance. Their influence extends beyond condemning poor actors to buying behavior, where their demands for accountability have the power to force business, sectors, and even governments to ensure public reporting of ESG compliance, and its impact on the environment, people, and communities. The public in key markets is already making ESG value statements with their pocketbooks. It should not surprise any business today that when given the choice consumers are often more likely to do business with a company that demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. It has been shown that they are willing to pay a premium for products where the brand showcases its approach to ethical, social, and environmental causes. In short, it is time businesses realized that climate-consciousness and pursuing ESG best practices and standards can help increase profits and ensure long-term business success.

At the same time, organizations are beginning to understand the direct impact of climate change on business continuity, resilience, and profitability. It is important to remember that the increasing number of businesses and governments are declaring that climate change and environmental sustainability are real and legitimate risks to operations. This means that committing to an ESG program is no longer a nice-to-have measure that can elevate the reputation of and profitability of a business. It is a must-have critical element within a larger risk management and operational resiliency strategy.

Why Integrating ESG into ERM frameworks is Critical?

Enterprise Risk Management is an umbrella approach for managing multiple risk categories across the business. These include external risks such as economic or geopolitical risks, cybersecurity, or environmental risks, and internal risks like reputational risks, financial risks, product risks, partner risks, data privacy risks, leadership, employee churn risks, and compliance risks. Most ERM strategies include specific categories such as operational risk management, regulatory & compliance programs, third-party risk management, IT and cybersecurity risk management, and audit programs. Many expect ESG to migrate from a standalone practice to become one more of these risk categories housed under a larger ERM framework. But we believe that time has not yet come, as the distinct practices, values, and measures within ESG need to mature further and be more widely adopted before it can be appropriately positioned under an ERM umbrella.

Management of existing risk categories today apply certain common structures, workflows, assessment practices within ERM frameworks. This includes standard practices for the identification, assessment, and prioritization of individual risks, and the evaluation of risk velocity, severity, and the connections between different risks. ERM frameworks also tend to include a centralized risk registry for easy reference. A centralized system provides the controls, procedures, and policies that can be applied when responding to any category of risks, based on the organization’s predefined risk profile and appetites. Modern ERM frameworks leverage data analytics for real time insights that facilitate better decision making across the risk universe.

Most ERM practices have been around for decades, and the best practices have been designed, tested and reviewed over time. While it is a living process that is flexible enough to adapt to risk scale, diversity and changes in organizational risk profile, program validation, scope, scale, and performance adaptation is constant. In a well-run risk management program, many processes are automated, which allows risk leaders to focus on strategy rather than day to day operations. Reapplying or extending existing standard procedures, automation, assessments, scoring methodologies, data collection and reporting – with some evolution and adaptation – to newer risk management categories like ESG makes good business sense. Pursuing ESG as a risk category and integrating it into existing ERM frameworks should help expedite program accountability and ensure reporting consistency.

Over the last few years several ESG reporting standards such as TCFD, CSRD have emerged, reaching a definitive and defensible market position. These standards define how ESG-related data is to be collected, reporting formats and requirements, as well as other criteria pertaining to what, when, where and who collects ESG data. These reporting outcomes can be easily incorporated into existing ERM frameworks and may enhance data and reporting across additional risk categories. In fact, ESG and Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) are central to and can be further integrated into resiliency strategies within ERM. Their inclusion will be invaluable for accelerating recovery from environmental and social risk events. Integrating ESG into ERM frameworks can also add to commonly accepted structures and expand the scale, scope and depth of understanding risks. It would be a mutually beneficial move where each discipline would benefit from the data and values of the other to deliver holistic legitimacy.

ESG and ERM: The Road Ahead

There is a growing expectation that within the next five to ten years, ESG will be housed within and enhance ERM programs. For now, ESG deserves focused attention from the market to refine its reporting and frameworks as it matures. While there will clearly be distinct risks, reporting structures, frameworks, and stakeholders for ESG information, it will increasingly be viewed as one of several important risk categories under the ERM umbrella. In a sense, it must ‘cross the chasm’ to a degree of standardization, consistency, commonality, to capture the market buy-in it doesn’t yet have. Once this is achieved, organizations will more easily integrate ESG risk assessments, reporting, and definition into enterprise risks.

Want to learn how to integrate ESG risks into Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) processes.

Register for the upcoming webinar: The Interconnectedness of ESG, ERM, and Third-Party Risk Management

Read the eBook: ESG and ERM: Bridging the Gap

Request for a personalized demo


Simrin Jhangiani Associate Director, Marketing at MetricStream

Simrin Jhangiani is the Product Marketing Lead for MetricStream’s ESGRC product. As a former NYU student with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility, Simrin is passionate about helping businesses make risk-aware business decisions around ESG. Simrin has an extensive business and marketing background having worked as a strategy consultant at KPMG and being a business owner of a sustainable fashion brand. She has lived on 3 different continents, and has travelled to over 50+ countries around the world, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of why ESG is important on a global scale. She believes that ESG is fundamental to the growth of businesses in the present day and is ardent about bringing awareness of the ever-changing regulations around Environmental, Social, and Governance.


What are Carbon Offsets? Can they Help with Your ESG Strategy?

Carbon ESG
5 min read


Evidence of the climate crisis is all around us in the form of record-breaking heat waves, floods, wildfires, and drought. To combat this global challenge, our first and foremost priority must be to directly reduce emissions across our businesses and supply chains – be it through the use of renewable energy, better waste management practices, or simply, less travel.

Beyond that, there’s another strategy that many companies are using to get to net zero faster – buying carbon offsets.

What are Carbon Offsets?

Carbon offsets are essentially a way for businesses to compensate for their carbon footprint by investing in emission-reducing projects elsewhere. For example, a company might finance a wind farm in a developing country to replace coal-fired power plants. Or, fund a waste-to-energy project that captures and converts methane from landfills into electricity for local communities.

There are broadly two types of offset schemes:

  • Removal offsets are generated from activities that remove carbon from the atmosphere (e.g., restoring a damaged mangrove ecosystem)
  • Avoidance offsets are from activities that prevent the release of emissions into the atmosphere (e.g., replacing wood or charcoal stoves with energy-efficient alternatives).

Why are companies making a beeline for offsets? Because while the end goal is to eventually eliminate all emissions, that can be harder to achieve for some businesses - especially, those that sell commodities like oil and gas, or whose production depends on fossil fuels. While they wait for new zero-emissions infrastructure to be built, many are accelerating their progress toward carbon neutrality by purchasing carbon offsets.

The Compliance Perspective: How Carbon Offsets Help Companies Meet Emission Reduction Requirements

Offsets aren’t just bought voluntarily. They’re also used to meet compliance requirements around emissions thresholds.

For example, under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), companies can earn a carbon credit for every tonne of CO2 they reduce through decarbonization projects, usually in developing countries. These credits can then be exchanged for carbon allowances – or, sold to meet legally binding emission reduction targets.

COP26’s Article 6 also provides a mechanism to trade carbon credits – but it takes things further with more stringent rules around additionality, permanence, and double counting (more on that in the next section). These measures are poised to improve the transparency of carbon markets, and result in higher-quality credits.

The other way to ‘offset’ excess emissions is through ‘cap and trade’ schemes which allow companies to purchase carbon allowances - certificates or permits that represent the legal right to emit one tonne (metric ton) of CO2 or equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG).

For example, under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) – which is part of EU climate legislation – companies can buy and trade emission allowances within a certain cap which keeps reducing every year.

Other ‘cap-and-trade’ schemes include the US’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UKETS).

What to Consider When Buying a Carbon Offset

Here are four principles to keep in mind when investing in a project to offset your carbon footprint:

  • Additionality: Will the project lead to a reduction in emissions that would not have happened otherwise? For example, if a reforestation initiative would have been funded by the local government regardless of other contributions, then your investment is additional and doesn’t really count as a carbon offset.
  • Permanence: Will the project permanently lower GHG emissions? For example, you might invest in a reforestation initiative – but if a wildfire burns down the forest, the carbon stored in it will be released back into the atmosphere, thereby negating your efforts.
  • Double counting: Is another company claiming the same emissions reduction as you? This isn’t allowed.
  • Leakage: Will a reduction of GHG emissions in your project location simply shift the source of those emissions to another place? For example, your offset project might focus on preventing deforestation in one site – but it’s entirely possible that the people who want to clear the land will simply move their operations to the adjoining forest.
  • Verifiability: Is your project data being verified by an objective third party? This helps confirm that the emissions reductions are authentic, credible, and compliant with reporting standards.

Why a Connected ESG Strategy is Important in Enabling Growth with Purpose

Before buying a carbon offset, the first step is to understand what percentage of your carbon footprint remains to be addressed after you’ve exhausted all other feasible emission-reducing opportunities. Only then can you know how much to offset in a cost-efficient manner.

That’s where a connected ESGRC (environmental, social, governance, risk, and compliance) program can help. It brings together all your environmental metrics, ESG-related risks, supplier assessment results, and more into a single source of truth.

With software like MetricStream ESGRC, you can streamline, automate, and centrally manage ESG disclosure requirements. Our technology makes it simple to assess, understand, and disclose your carbon footprint in compliance with ESG standards and frameworks. It also provides a unified view of the risks and impact of all your emission-reducing initiatives – including carbon offsets. With these insights, you can make better decisions that drive sustainable growth, and win the trust of both investors and stakeholders.

Carbon offsets aren’t a silver bullet, for the simple reason that carbon offsets don’t work on their own. Companies have mostly used offsets as a way to easily achieve carbon neutrality. If your business is looking to build long-term strategic plans to not just ensure ESG compliance but to also make a conscientious effort to save the planet, taking a connected ESGRC approach will help grow your business with purpose.


Simrin Jhangiani Associate Director, Marketing at MetricStream

Simrin Jhangiani is the Product Marketing Lead for MetricStream’s ESGRC product. As a former NYU student with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility, Simrin is passionate about helping businesses make risk-aware business decisions around ESG. Simrin has an extensive business and marketing background having worked as a strategy consultant at KPMG and being a business owner of a sustainable fashion brand. She has lived on 3 different continents, and has travelled to over 50+ countries around the world, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of why ESG is important on a global scale. She believes that ESG is fundamental to the growth of businesses in the present day and is ardent about bringing awareness of the ever-changing regulations around Environmental, Social, and Governance.


3 Steps to Future Proof Your ESG Program

ESG Blog MetricStream
5 min read


With environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics now being established as an important strategic and financial imperative, there is mounting pressure from various sides for organizations to set up ESG programs. Investors, consumers, and other stakeholders are increasingly expecting companies to proactively meet ESG standards. Regulatory bodies worldwide are also stepping in with enforcements.

However, the ESG maturity level of companies varies widely. In a global survey conducted by OCEG, more than half of the respondents—58%—said that they had minimal or no confidence in the ESG programs run by their company. Companies are also at a loss when it comes to reporting tools and methods. In a survey of US companies by Global ESG Monitor (GEM), it was found that only 35% of the respondents were able to demonstrate transparency in their ESG reports. Organizations are also concerned about the risks associated with climate change, sustainability, and social factors. 68% of general counsels in large and mid-sized companies expressed worry about new legal and regulatory ESG risks.

To help your organization simplify and streamline ESG-related activities including data collection, regulatory requirements, investor disclosure requirements, ESG reporting, ESG risk assessment, mitigation, etc., here are 3 essential steps to build a future-proof ESG program.

1. Start by Leveraging GRC for ESG

Implement your ESG program by integrating it with your Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) strategy. Organizations need structured guidance when setting up their ESG program and GRC offers the foundation to build a single connected system and approach to systematically collect, record, monitor, analyze, comply, report, and mitigate.

To break it down further:

  • Governance enables monitoring and reporting with accurate information rolled up with ESG-specific metrics to be set up. GRC policies mapped to ESG frameworks provide measurements on ESG improvements to investors, customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Risk management offers a unique and disciplined approach to analyze ESG data to identify and prioritize risk and opportunities and develop risk mitigation strategies.
  • Compliance, by mapping GRC controls to multiple ESG frameworks, helps provide a comprehensive view, especially as ESG standards and frameworks such as SASB, GRI, TCFD, etc., are being adopted by regulators as foundations for their new ESG regulations.

In addition, building your ESG program will require ensuring third-party management of ESG data to drive compliance and mitigate risk. Regulations such as the draft European Corporate Due Diligence Direction and the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (set to be enacted on Jan 1, 2023), will require organizations to create documented processes to report environmental and social metrics concerning their extended supply chains. Taking a proactive approach to manage ESG risk across third and fourth parties will help companies future-proof their ESG programs.

2. Make the Move from Manual to Automated

ESG programs are heavily data dependent. Most organizations launching ESG programs are faced with a myriad of data-related challenges, especially, a lack of clarity on what ESG data needs to be collected, a lack of visibility into the data collection process, difficulty in benchmarking progress, and the inability to perform data discovery. Moreover, ESG data spread across multiple sources including spreadsheets, documents, and databases, along with inconsistency in data formats make it difficult to collect, analyze, or report.

Risks today are interconnected, and a manual approach makes integration with other systems difficult. Accurate assessment of how ESG risks relate to other risks in the organization—both direct and indirect—will not be possible through manual processes. With ESG standards and frameworks evolving, consolidating, and rapidly being adopted as regulations, managing the alphabet soup of these standards via manual means is not efficient in any way.

By leveraging automation for your ESG program, your organization will be able to automatically:

  • Capture ESG metrics from various data sources and third-parties
  • Define calculation logic and aggregate metrics
  • Facilitate analysis through reports and dashboards
  • Create standard reporting based on ESG requirements
  • Provide regulatory changes and updates

3. Streamline ESG Reporting for Key Stakeholders

When it comes to setting up ESG programs, the toughest challenge often lies in reporting ESG information to key stakeholders such as investors, consumers, and regulatory bodies. The breadth of ESG data (data may be sourced from financial and non-financial systems and even third-party vendors), evolving global reporting expectations, and lack of proper governance and reporting structures in place, are just some of the challenges that organizations face. In a recent PwC survey of global investors, 61% agreed that it is important that ESG reporting by companies follows recognized non-financial reporting frameworks such as SASB, TCFD, or GRI.

While establishing your ESG program, your organization should ensure that your reporting capabilities can:

  • Accurately report the ESG issues each stakeholder group needs to know about your organization
  • Effectively identify potential ESG risks and opportunities (such as new innovations, revenue streams, and more)
  • Transparently report ESG metrics to the board through real-time and visually-effective reports
  • Provide the agility required to collect, integrate, and generate reports of the new types of information from new sources as the ESG landscape evolves
  • Integrate with existing tools and processes for data sourcing, aggregation, analytics, and reporting

Stay Ahead with MetricStream ESGRC

MetricStream’s Environmental, Social, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (ESGRC) solution is built to empower your organization with a simplified and streamlined approach to meeting the various requirements of setting up a future-proof ESG program. Built on the industry-leading, AI-powered MetricStream Platform, ESGRC enables your organization to:

  • Centrally manage ESG standards, frameworks and disclosure requirements including GRI, SASB, TCFD, etc., and map these requirements to various business units and locations
  • Automatically capture data for a broad range of environmental, social, and governance metrics and define calculation logic
  • Manage and mitigate third-party ESG risk and compliance systematically through a supplier portal
  • Document and manage ESG risks and related details and perform simple and advanced risk assessments and analysis with heat maps
  • Identify and document ESG-related issues and leverage AI to identify similar issues based on relation and recommend issue classification and action plans
  • Integrate seamlessly with third-party systems to pull in relevant information related to environmental, social, and governance metrics
  • Gain comprehensive and real-time visibility into various ESGRC management processes and metrics through graphical dashboards and configurable reports

Interested to learn more about MetricStream ESGRC? Request a custom demo now.

Explore our ESGRC resources:

eBook: Building an Enterprise ESG Program? Here's How Technology Can Help You Succeed

Infographic: Why ESG Matters?

Product Overview: Enable Your Growth with Purpose


Simrin Jhangiani Associate Director, Marketing at MetricStream

Simrin Jhangiani is the Product Marketing Lead for MetricStream’s ESGRC product. As a former NYU student with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility, Simrin is passionate about helping businesses make risk-aware business decisions around ESG. Simrin has an extensive business and marketing background having worked as a strategy consultant at KPMG and being a business owner of a sustainable fashion brand. She has lived on 3 different continents, and has travelled to over 50+ countries around the world, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of why ESG is important on a global scale. She believes that ESG is fundamental to the growth of businesses in the present day and is ardent about bringing awareness of the ever-changing regulations around Environmental, Social, and Governance.


Greenwashing and the Invisible Enemy of Apathy

Invisible enemy MSI
3 min read


Reduce, reuse, and recycle; turn off light switches when not in use; use the washing machine on a cold cycle. The list goes on as we look to reduce waste and minimize our energy footprint in this world. While these concepts are not new, it is interesting to see how some organizations have now taken this to a new level. We don't have to look too far back to see similar recurring themes - let me explain.

Back in the 80s (think Stranger Things minus the paranormal events and horror) environmentalist Jay Westerveld walked into a hotel room in Fiji and noticed a card that read; "Save Our Planet: Every day, millions of gallons of water are used to wash towels that have only been used once. You make the choice: A towel on the rack means, 'I will use again.' A towel on the floor means, 'Please replace.' Thank you for helping us conserve the Earth's vital resources."

Jay rapidly saw the irony of this statement and composed an essay where he discussed how the hotel industry's motives had little to do with saving the planet, concluding that the real objective of promoting towel reuse was to reduce laundry costs and increase profits. A term he labeled as 'Greenwashing'.

This label re-emerged in 2021 when eco-activist Greta Thunberg referred to COP26 as a 'Greenwash Festival', extending the definition beyond that of product marketing and more towards corporations claiming green credentials and yet outsourcing their obligations. With the specter of legislation ever-present, these practices will need to stop if consumers, regulators, and crucially investors are to be kept happy. This will require organizations to pivot toward a more sophisticated approach to ESG if they are to convince the cynic's view that greenwashing is not the status quo.

Technology will play a key role in this ESG revolution, not just in producing disclosure reports and providing the required evidence, but crucially, the collection of those vital ESG metrics from across the organization and beyond in the supply chain.

These technology solutions will need to bring together all requirements into one central hub allowing organizations to manage the various disclosure frameworks across all geographies whether that be TCFD, GRI, SASB or indeed the various ESG Data Providers. It is crucial that there is consistency, with everyone speaking the same language, as there is little to be gained in actively measuring and managing ESG if the data cannot be aggregated into a single view.

Beyond creating efficiencies in data collection and aggregation, user adoption is essential if you are to embed a culture of ESG into an organization, and the invisible enemy of apathy is to be defeated. If not, 'Greenwashers' using ESG as a marketing tool will pay the price.

Streamline ESG Management with MetricStream ESGRC

MetricStream enables you to take a simplified and streamlined approach toward meeting all organizational requirements relating to Environmental, Social, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (ESGRC).

  • Centrally manage disclosure requirements of various ESG frameworks, including GRI, SASB, TCFD, and others
  • Leverage automated and standardized ESG reporting to optimize ESG processes
  • Define calculated logic and aggregated metrics which can be analyzed and presented via dashboards
  • Perform ESG self-assessment with questionnaires and link this to a risk assessment library
  • Manage and link your third parties and vendors via a supplier portal to evaluate the ESG posture of your suppliers
  • Automate your overall workflow and integrate data feeds from third-party ESG rating agencies

Interested to learn more about MetricStream ESGRC? Request a custom demo now.

Explore our ESGRC resources:

eBook: Building an Enterprise ESG Program? Here's How Technology Can Help You Succeed

Infographic: Why ESG Matters?

Product Overview: Enable Your Growth with Purpose

Richard Rivett

Richard Rivett Market Development, MetricStream

Richard Rivett is a software and technology professional with over 24 years of experience in the technology space spanning vendors, client-side, and consultancy. For the past decade, Richard has focused on the GRC sector in a variety of customer facing roles including managing the relationships of 35 pan-European clients as well as leading a Services Team in EMEA.

Richard joined MetricStream in August 2021 in a Market Development role that sees him apply his experience and expertise in the initial stages of the customer engagements, focusing on successful client outcomes.


OMG it’s ESG

RISK msi
4 min read

Riding Your Bike Twice a Day is Not the Same as Recycling

Floating Wind Farms are no Sinking Feeling

The MetricStream London office is set alongside a 22km canal that has barges and narrowboats quaintly floating across the waterways. The UK was the first country to develop a nationwide canal network and earlier this year it was announced that a new floating wind farm is set to become an eminent landmark in Welsh and English waters. Technology for floating wind farms has been around for decades. They provide renewable energy without releasing environmental pollutants or greenhouse gases and wind power is more powerful at sea than on land. This initiative has several environmental benefits with the energy from wind not emitting any carbon emissions.

It’s not only governments that are doing their bit for the environment. Organizations are also taking charge to ensure a sustainable future for this and subsequent generations. Investors are searching for a convincing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plan of action that helps pave the way to net-zero carbon emissions and a sustainable future. Furthermore, research shows that organizations with a purpose striving for ESG principles can significantly progress their innovation and employee retention rates.

The European Union’s (EU) target to be climate-neutral by 2050 with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is legally binding for member states, and with a raft of governing bodies, task forces, and regulations, let me see if I can unravel some of the acronyms and guidelines that the UK and EU are facing:

Making Sense of ESG

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

TCFD was launched in December 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and on 6 April 2022, the UK became the first G20 country to make it mandatory for large companies to disclose information and to better price climate-related risk and opportunities. It will help investors understand their financial exposure to climate change. The largest UK-traded companies, as well as private companies with over 500 employees and over £500m in turnover, are subject to this.

European Banking Authority (EBA)

In 2022, the EBA published its final draft implementing technical standards on climate change and how it might affect other risks on the balance sheet. Shareholders should be able to assess banks’ ESG-related risks and sustainable finance strategies. Reporting requirements will be applied to large institutions on an annual basis for the first year and semi-annually thereafter. Institutions will start disclosing this information from June 2022.

The European Central Bank (ECB)

The ECB has put an action plan in place to incorporate climate change considerations aligned with progress on the EU policies including sustainability disclosure and reporting. Climate change can pose a real risk to the financial system including systemic risk to the global markets.

The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR)
The SFDR was mandatory in Europe from March 2021 and was designed to help institutional asset owners and retail clients monitor the sustainability of investment funds by standardizing sustainability disclosures around climate-related risk and opportunities. SFDR applies to financial institutions within the EU and includes sectors they invest in and their portfolio companies.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA is aware that many UK investment managers will need to comply with the SDFR.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA)

CCRA has stipulated that every 5 years the UK government must prepare policies to reduce greenhouse gases and cope with changes in climate. There are three steps, 1: understand the current vulnerabilities, 2: understand the future vulnerabilities, and 3: prioritize the risks and opportunities over the next 5 years.

There are plenty more like the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) which is the intergovernmental body of the United Nations for accessing the science related to climate change.

Ok, I hope you are all still with me and I did not discuss America or Asia guidelines, after all this is a blog and not an eBook.

However, at MetricStream, we have published an eBook that discusses building an enterprise ESG program and how technology can help you optimize your ESG disclosure reporting. It’s well worth a read.

Download eBook: Building an Enterprise ESG Program

ESG and GRC Convergence – Let’s Hit our Targets Together

As you can see, there are a raft of regulations and guidelines, and companies are increasingly being held accountable for corporate practices that focus on climate sustainability. Funds that also invest in sustainability have to be made clearer to the customer.

You need to demonstrate a solid risk management practice to allow you to monitor, manage, and track your ESG metrics alongside a strategy that understands how you are going to reduce your carbon footprint.

There is a real convergence of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) and ESG.

Streamline and Manage ESG Requirements with MetricStream

At MetricStream, we can help you manage your ESG frameworks and disclosures, so you can:

  • Optimize the process with automated and standardized ESG reporting
  • Define calculated logic and aggregated metrics which can be analyzed and presented via dashboards
  • Perform ESG self-assessment questionnaires and link this to a risk assessment library
  • Manage and link your third parties and vendors via a supplier portal
  • Automate your overall workflow and integrate data feeds from third-party ESG rating agencies

By simplifying compliance through an integrated approach, you will be able to improve visibility into ESG metrics and strengthen your awareness around third-party ESG risks. And pave the way to a rich ESG culture through seamless collaboration.

Every company can make a difference to the planet.

Interested in our ESGRC product? Write to me at ssahi@metricstream.com. You can also book a personalized demo to understand more about our product.

Stay up-to-date with trending discussions and insights in the risk community. Subscribe to the Instagram of Risk Blog Series authored by Suneel Sahi, VP, Product Marketing at MetricStream.


The Difference Between CSR and ESG – A Matter of Measurability and Accountability

5 min read


The world is at a tipping point. Accelerating climate change, pollution, inequity, and conflict threaten to disrupt life and established order. These challenges must be addressed urgently. There is now greater demand for not just responsibility but also accountability from governments and even businesses on climate change and social and governance issues. Most ethical enterprises have always taken their social responsibility seriously and have had formal programs in place to give back to the ecosystem they operate within. But today, environmental, and social responsibility are business imperatives. And good corporate governance is vitally important for organizational success and reputation. Key stakeholders are no longer content with ad hoc displays of corporate responsibility. They want to see greater and continued commitment, measurable results, complete transparency, and governance from the enterprises they engage with on issues that matter. And this is what differentiates Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.

ESG Software Solution MSI

ESG Criteria Takes the CSR Agenda a Step Further

The term CSR was coined in 1953 by American economist Howard Bowen, though it wasn’t until the 1970s that the social responsibility of businesses gained more visibility. It is driven by the belief that the organization bears some responsibility towards the community, environment, and society within which it functions. This defines the company’s responsibility towards the ecosystem supported by its philanthropic efforts and ethical duties. An enterprise’s CSR commitments are often a reflection of its values and a good indicator of its corporate culture. For the most part, CSR practices are self-regulated, and each organization chooses the initiatives that make the most sense for them.

CSR aims to make organizations accountable for their larger societal responsibilities, but these activities and their impact are not really measurable. There are also fewer governance measures pertaining to CSR. Today, as the world faces unprecedented challenges, customers, employees, investors, and shareholders are unanimously demanding to see focused action that drives positive transformation. ESG criteria take the CSR agenda one step further to integrate environmental and social responsibility into core corporate strategy along with a strong governance framework. It involves quantifiable targets and measurable impact assessments. For example, an auto manufacturer’s CSR drive could have their employees cleaning trash from city roads or embarking on an afforestation drive in their community. But their ESG policy would require them to make a firm commitment to planting a million trees by 2030 or ensuring a 25 percent increase in usage of recycled material in their manufacturing process.

Unlike CSR, ESG is Core to Organizational Strategy

The push for strong ESG metrics comes from different sources. 35 percent of consumers are willing to pay up to 25 percent more for sustainable products. And 76 percent of consumers are willing to disengage from companies that are not sustainable or who mistreat employees and communities. A whopping 86 percent of employees want to work for companies that share their value system and care about the same issues as them. Investors also want to know more about the social and environmental impact of any organization they work with. Which is why 95 percent of institutional asset owners have already implemented or are considering integrating sustainable investing practices across their portfolios.

Another point to note is that the risk landscape is highly volatile today. In fact, the nature of risk has shifted from economic to environmental, and social. Seven out of ten top likely risks, and eight out of the top ten most impactful risks identified by the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report pertain to environment, social and governance. Failure to meet ESG criteria can impact an organization’s financial performance and greatly damage its reputation. For example, not meeting emission reduction goals can lead to ratings downgrades and share price losses, and not improving wages and working conditions can result in high attrition and loss of productivity. ESG practices are also increasingly coming under regulatory scrutiny. The EU’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), UK’s potential climate risk reporting mandate, and the US’s proposed ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2021 are some of the regulations coming into play now. From April 2022, TCFD disclosure is likely to be mandatory in the UK for the 1300 largest UK registered companies including traded companies and private organizations that have over 500 employees and £500 million in turnover. As this space gets increasingly regulated, organizations will need robust risk management and compliance platforms that can aggregate relevant data from across the enterprise, automate processes, and ensure error free reporting.

The social contract between enterprises and the ecosystem it operates within is now stronger than ever with almost all key stakeholders demanding to see quantifiable, measurable action. Unlike CSR, ESG is core to organizational strategy and a critical driver of future growth. Of course, compliance with stringent regulations is one good reason to ensure healthy ESG practices, but the value of ESG goes deeper than that. A well thought out strategy, focused and results driven action, and transparent reporting will drive customer and employee relations, better investor relations, better market performance and reputation.

Metricstream ESGRC: Enabling Growth With Purpose

MetricStream ESGRC simplifies ESG management by integrating ESG requirements into your existing risk management and compliance frameworks and systems. Your organization is empowered to:

  • Centrally manage disclosure requirements of various ESG frameworks including GRI, SASB, TCFD, and others
  • Automatically capture data for a broad range of environmental, social, and governance metrics
  • Manage and evaluate the ESG posture of suppliers based on multiple parameters
  • Report ESG metrics to boards with deeper visibility gained from graphical dashboards and configurable reports
  • Integrate with third-party systems to pull in relevant information related to environmental, social, and governance metrics

Interested to know more about how MetricStream ESGRC can drive sustainable growth, help you gain better access to investors, and ensure preparedness for impending ESG regulations? Request a demo now.

You may also want to read our latest eBooks on ESG:

Building an Enterprise ESG Program? Here's How Technology Can Help You Succeed

Power What’s Next in GRC by Establishing ESG Metrics


Simrin Jhangiani Associate Director, Marketing at MetricStream

Simrin Jhangiani is the Product Marketing Lead for MetricStream’s ESGRC product. As a former NYU student with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility, Simrin is passionate about helping businesses make risk-aware business decisions around ESG. Simrin has an extensive business and marketing background having worked as a strategy consultant at KPMG and being a business owner of a sustainable fashion brand. She has lived on 3 different continents, and has travelled to over 50+ countries around the world, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of why ESG is important on a global scale. She believes that ESG is fundamental to the growth of businesses in the present day and is ardent about bringing awareness of the ever-changing regulations around Environmental, Social, and Governance.


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Beat the Buzz: Steps to Stay Ahead of SEC’s Proposed Mandatory Climate Disclosure Rules

esgrc 2
6 min read


Industry circles are abuzz with what is being touted as the next big landmark announcement after Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. On March 21, 2022, Wall Street’s top regulator, the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed new climate-related disclosure rules. The announcement revealed that all SEC registrants would be mandatorily required to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports.

What are the New Rules and What’s the SEC’s Aim?

The proposed new rules will require public companies to disclose:

1) the climate-related risks that impact their business

2) their greenhouse gas emissions

To dive in deeper, quoting the SEC’s press release, this will include “information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to their audited financial statements.” Most importantly, the mandatory disclosure information would also need to include “disclosure of a registrant’s greenhouse gas emissions, which have become a commonly used metric to assess a registrant’s exposure to such risks.”

The goal behind SEC’s proposed mandatory climate disclosure rules is simple.

  • Ensure standardization of climate-related disclosures
  • Provide consistency and greater transparency in reporting for investors to make informed investment decisions

What Does This Mean for Your Organization? Should You Anticipate any Challenges?

According to the SEC, about one-third of public companies have already issued climate-related disclosures in their financial statements in 2019 and 2020. The SEC’s Fact Sheet on the new proposed rules requires large companies, by FY 2023, to:

  • disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1)
  • disclose indirect emissions from electricity and other forms of energy (Scope 2)
  • disclose GHG emissions from upstream and downstream activities in its value chain (indirect GHG emissions not otherwise disclosed in Scope 2 emissions) (Scope 3)

(Note: Smaller reporting companies would be exempt from GHG emissions disclosure under Scope 3. Additionally, a safe harbor provision is provided for Scope 3 GHG disclosures.)

Upon inspection of the proposed climate-disclosure rules, several challenges have been identified. The most pertinent are:

  • Resource requirements for mid-sized and smaller companies: The new proposed regulations will require mid-sized and smaller companies—many of whom have to date not measured climate-related risks or tracked emissions—to seek additional resources to manage this disclosure requirement including having their GHG emission disclosures attested by a third-party.
  • Private companies will be looped in as well: Although the proposed regulations require only public companies to comply, the rules may affect private companies as well. Suppliers to public companies will need to start measuring and reducing their emissions or else public companies won’t be able to meet the required disclosure mandate.
  • Data collection for Scope 3 emissions: With the new rule proposing that organizations disclose GHG emissions generated in their supply chain and customer base, measuring and tracking can become a challenge. Organizations are concerned if this means that they will have to pressure their supply chain to reduce Scopes 1 and 2 emissions indirectly. Without a proper methodology to calculate Scope 3, corporates may be exposed to the risk of incorrect data from third-party suppliers.
  • Potential legal and regulatory risks need to be assessed: Meeting the proposed mandatory climate change requirement would require companies to assess and evaluate any potential legal or regulatory risks and also estimate the costs involved in complying with the new rules.

So How Do Organizations Stay Ahead?

1. Start with the data

For larger companies, consolidate all your climate-related data and determine what additional data needs to be provided to comply with the new regulations. For mid-sized and smaller companies, start building an inventory, especially for your climate-related data.

2. Determine the physical climate-related risks, the policies and procedures put in place, and how you are reporting this

Whether you are a large corporation or mid-sized firm, it is important to disclose the physical climate-related risks that will financially impact your overall business. For instance, physical environmental risks like wildfires or hurricanes can impact properties and operations. Transition risks, such as an organization’s environmental targets and its plans to reach them, will also have to be disclosed. GHG emissions, as per Scope 1, 2, and 3 (if applicable) will have to be determined.

3. Evaluate your current methods to calculate for Scope 1-3 and your reporting framework

a) Decide on your evaluating methods

  • For Scope 1, do you directly measure or analyze based on fuel input? 
  • For Scope 2 accounting, will your organization be following a location-based vs market-based method? 
  • For Scope 3, do you now require your business partners, suppliers, and/or clients to provide their GHG emission figures written in their contracts?

Scope requirements are constantly changing, and organizations need to stay abreast with the latest revisions and additions. As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, climate-related data classified under each scope currently is as follows:

Scope 1: All direct GHG emissions which are controlled or owned by your organization. This includes both sources of:

Scope 2:  All indirect GHG emissions associated with your organization, including:

Scope 3: Any GHG emissions that are from assets not owned or controlled by your organization and which fall under the 15 categories of upstream or downstream activities.

b) Ensure all climate-related data is aggregated in a centralized repository supported by internationally recognized disclosure frameworks

With the proposal to make climate-related disclosures mandatory, it becomes increasingly important for organizations to collate and centrally manage all siloed climate-related data in a centrally managed repository as per internationally recognized disclosure frameworks.

Currently, various ESG frameworks including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), and others, provide organizations with the structure and methodology to measure, assess, and report on their ESG initiatives (including GHG emissions), risks, and opportunities.

Keep in mind, under the proposed rules, ‘accelerated filers’ and ‘large, accelerated filers” must include an attestation report from an independent attestation service provider covering Scopes 1 and 2 emissions to ensure the reliability of the GHG disclosures.

c) Review overall timeline and plan for associated costs

With the potential legal and regulatory risks involved in following this new disclosure, you need to evaluate how much resources (e.g.: people, technologies) are required and the costs that would entail and forecast them in your overall budget.

Get Ready for What’s Next with MetricStream ESGRC

MetricStream’s ESGRC product offers ready-made disclosure templates for different audiences and even allows you to collect data in your own proprietary format. This will then be augmented by an external data feed from third-party ESG rating agencies enabling you to monitor your score and find any gaps in your own data.

And in the case of Scope 3, which is by far the hardest for companies to disclose, MetricStream ESGRC enables data gathering from your supply chain. Everything related to ESG is under one roof, in a single place—simplifying compliance with the SEC’s climate-disclosure rules and other ESG regulations and reporting standards.

Interested to know more about how MetricStream ESGRC can help you prepare for SEC’s proposed mandatory climate disclosure rules? Write to me at ahanchinamani@metricstream.com


Check out more resources related to ESG

Building an Enterprise ESG Program? Here's How Technology Can Help You Succeed

Power What’s Next in GRC by Establishing ESG Metrics

ESGRC Product Overview

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