Home News Elizabeth Deheza speaks about ESG and business sustainability in Latin America

Elizabeth Deheza speaks about ESG and business sustainability in Latin America

Our CEO recently discussed why ESG is now a paramount commercial consideration for businesses looking to establish a presence in the region.

Last month CEO Elizabeth Deheza was an invited panellist at the Congreso de Negocios Internacionales organised by the Universidad del Istmo y Agexport in Guatemala. The conference looked at a broad range of themes affecting business across Latin America from operational practicalities to supply chain challenges and ESG concerns. Speaking alongside Elizabeth was Danny Sánchez-Mola, a brand expert and software developer, Michael Finkel who spoke on globalisation and Kurt Schosinsky, a managing director of Colombia’s flag carrier Avianca Airlines who spoke on rebalancing supply chains.

Elizabeth focused on business sustainability and ESG, both of which are becoming increasingly salient commercial considerations across the region. Elizabeth touched on ethical and impact investing which have increasingly gained traction in venture capital and hedge fund circles where social returns are viewed as intrinsic to financial ones.

Elizabeth said that a sustainable business is one that, “… meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

“A sustainable business meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”

Elizabeth Deheza, CEO

Elizabeth highlighted that from the perspective of establishing a sound commercial reputation, consumers and investors alike are increasingly keen to understand how companies effectively incorporate environmental, governance and social responsibilities into their business model. This is particularly important in Latin America where ESG concerns, from deforestation in the Amazon to cultivating positive relationships between business and impoverished sectors is a persistent challenge.

“ESG is important for a number of reasons including that it helps to safeguard businesses from future risks,” added Elizabeth.

“ESG is important for a number of reasons including that it helps to safeguard businesses from future risks.”

Elizabeth Deheza, CEO

Indeed, companies with strong processes to measure, manage and communicate ESG performance outperformed their peers financially over multi-year timeframes by as much as 40%. Global investors are starting to mandate ESG disclosures and threatening to act against boards that do not comply.

Elizabeth said that businesses must “…demonstrate a commitment to taking ESG seriously and to the importance of spreading ESG knowledge performance data internally and among stakeholders. Crucially, data – it needs to be credible, reliable and quantitative and qualitative.”

Business leaders need to take ESG seriously if they want to attract investment. Investors worldwide are increasingly monitoring ESG practices, outcomes and disclosures and using these assessments to inform capital allocation. Her key message to the conference – this is an area you cannot afford to ignore.

To provide clients with the very best intelligence to guide ESG and sustainability-related decision making, Deheza aggregates local insights, cross referenced with comprehensive open-source data before translating our findings into actionable intelligence – it’s the so what? that matters.

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