Seminar on Best Practices in ESG by Dr. Stephen ARO-GORDON

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues have gained prominence recently, with managers, investors, governments, and other stakeholders increasingly applying these non-financial factors to their strategic analysis process. Many questions about ESG arise about the material risks factors, how ESGs protect and create value for the business. This SDMIMD 3-day seminar on ‘Best Practices in ESG’ held from 28 June to 1 July 2023 allowed participants to examine these questions afresh and to revisit the related concepts and issues around ESG. The discussions covered sustainability reporting, climate action, ESG rating, and greenwashing. Using a case-study approach with conglomerates such as General Electric, Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Larsen and Toubro, combined with ESG ranking data from leading raters such as MSCI, Bloomberg, Sustainalytics, and Refinitiv, the participants explored how ESG performance could impact a firm’s cost of capital and valuation. In this regard, participants used the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of ratio analysis and capital structure. Participants exhibited their forecasting skills and valuation methods, such as the dividend discount models and price multiples, to draw valuable insights into the role of ESGs in firm value. Besides the highly interactive lectures, participants gained critical ESG insights through quizzes and group presentations based on assigned publicly quoted companies. The seminar concluded with the awareness that ESG best practice is all about effective risk management.