How Retailers Can Implement ESG Planning

The environmental, social and governance issues are moving front and center in the retail world.

February 24, 2021

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Has your company felt inside or outside pressure to demonstrate your performance on environment, social and governance (ESG) issues? “ESG has many layers to it. It’s a voluntary program … being directed by the financial institutions,” said Jeff Hove, vice president of The Fuels Institute, on this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Why ESG Is Becoming Important to Retailers.”

“A lot of companies out there have got a sustainability program,” he said. “What ESG is really doing is demanding the tracking of certain metrics that are material to greenhouse gas emissions. For [the transportation] industry, we are really looking at CO2 emissions.”

While voluntary, many companies are working on ESG planning because the Biden Administration has made environmental protection a cornerstone of its plans.

“A lot of [company ESG planning] is being pushed by investors,” Hove said. “That’s been the big push right now. Indirectly, our folks will be doing business with other folks, who may be demanding that [retailers] have an ESG plan in place in order to do business with them. It’s a bit of a domino effect.”

What are the primary focuses on the environmental side in the transportation sector?

“The transportation and fuels industry is carbon-intense and most people realize that transportation leads the way for greenhouse gas emissions,” Hove said. “An ESG doesn’t have a threshold or a goal—they’re not demanding a zero emissions economy. What they’re asking is for industry to take a look at where emissions are coming from, … which can be anything from kilowatt hours consumed … [to] what is the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel, the ethanol and the biodiesel.”

Listen to the podcast for more on how ESG is driving greater corporate sustainability programming in the future. Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at Episodes have been downloaded more than 200,000 times by listeners around the world.