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How can I prepare myself for an ESG function, being an IR student?

#student #college #internationalrelations #career #ESG #graduate-student

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Adam’s Answer

I would suggest looking into the base level LEED accreditation (GA) which can be had through self study and with no experience requirement. That will help give you some core understandings of what companies should be measuring in terms of environmental impacts (the "E" in ESG). Starting to volunteer with community organizations can give you valuable experience and education around social issues where companies in your area could have a meaningful impact through corporate giving or volunteerism. Look into training courses focused on Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. Together these components make up the social, or "S" in ESG.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Alanis,

I just recently began a job in ESG. I'd say the biggest way to prepare is to stay on top of ESG trends in the news, follow ESG publications/newsletters, and stay up to date as the ESG space is constantly evolving (i.e., new corporate ESG regulations) .

I would also research corporations whose ESG programs and efforts you admire. What do you like about these corporations? Where do you see gaps? How can you bring these fresh ideas into your next opportunity?
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Dannie’s Answer

Investment Recovery is a booming part of many companies as they move into a more circularity of their economy and also wanting to be great Corporate Citizens. I think one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the career future is to start looking at companies that are also moving towards circular economy or ones that are heavily invested into society, being green etc.
I find this resource to be of great value - https://kumu.io/ellenmacarthurfoundation/educational-resources#circular-economy-general-resources-map/key-for-general-resources-map/intro-to-the-circular-economy. You can use it to start sifting through some of the movement and companies that are entrenched in Circularity for the economy.

Lastly, I would say utilized the education and start thinking what value you can bring to most companies, to help them get to world class sustainability and reverse economy. That is, thinking end to end, who buys the products, the life cycle and instead of thinking about cradle to grave, foster the opportunities that can prevent landfill, so Gradle to reuse, remanufacture, recycle, etc.
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Patricia’s Answer

I work in this field and believe that there is a lot of room under ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) for you to find a part to specialize in or move towards.

First, to simplify things, ask yourself which category speaks to you most:
- fighting for or teaching about environmental protection
- planning for or supplying for the basic needs of people such as food, shelter, health etc.
- ensuring protections for people and things through the implementation or augmentation of protective procedures, policies and laws for companies to enact

Second, start to volunteer with non-profits who serve in those areas of interest. Working with people who understand the issues in the area that interests you most will aid you to gain background knowledge, experience, and maybe even a mentor.

Third, ensure you have a business background or learn at least a bit about how a business works both generally for an overview and specifically within your area of interest. This is very important if you want to be effective at being able to relate to all stakeholders and move things forward.

Lastly, research and explore as many people, cultures, languages, and places as possible. Doing work to understand yourself and build your leadership, awareness, and interpersonal skills should not be overlooked.

This is a very dynamic and changing area and those who are flexible in mind and open to new knowledge will be the most responsive to wherever the industry goes.

Never forget to have fun and be a life long learner! Stay curious.
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