Your Quick Guide to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and 1 Company That’s Prioritizing It

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Photo of an Indeed employee.

Image courtesy of Indeed.

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Environmental, Social and Governance — or ESG for short — is a term that you’ve probably seen popping up more and more. A company’s ESG efforts are becoming increasingly important for potential investors, drawing future employees and for improving the world at large. These efforts are split into three parts:

  1. Environmental efforts, which include a company’s efforts to protect and preserve the environment, including: avoiding pollution, using more environmentally friendly materials and an increasing reliance on renewable energy sources.

  2. Social efforts, such as ensuring ethical behavior, managing relationships internally and externally, fair pay, inclusive policies and more.

  3. Governance efforts, which relate to how a company runs its business, from leadership and transparency to executive pay and bonuses.

ESG is important. As the Harvard Business Review puts it, “Today, successful organizations see ESG not as a cost of doing business but as a critical function of business strategy. In an increasingly connected and unpredictable landscape, having a powerful and effective ESG platform is intrinsic to growing your business and leading your competitors as well as to serving your customers, workforce, partners, investors, communities, and the planet.”

And, ESG is only growing. According to a Bloomberg report, ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025.

As an example of a company that is actively making ESG a priority, let’s take a look at Indeed and their ESG programs.

A growing focus on ESG.

Indeed’s ESG journey began in 2016 when they hired a small inclusion and diversity team that organized and empowered communities of underrepresented groups at Indeed (called the Inclusion Resource Groups (IRGs)). “This was the first step in a long journey toward becoming a company that not only recognizes the value of different backgrounds and viewpoints, but gives them a safe space to discuss their challenges and perspectives in an open and inclusive environment,” notes Indeed. 

The journey continued in 2019 when Indeed hired LaFawn Davis to lead the team, who added another element to their efforts: Belonging. After which, in 2020, Inclusion & Belonging became one of Indeed’s five core business values, and Davis took on the role of Group Vice President of their new global ESG effort. This group’s work has since become essential to Indeed.

As Darren Carfano, Business Intelligence Manager in NYC, says, “Indeed’s ESG launch and its commitments for representation for our job seekers, both here and globally, is a truly ambitious and inspiring way to create real, positive, and systemic change in how we help people get jobs. It doubles-down on Indeed’s ideal to be the north star – the platinum standard – for employers to model after.”

Further, this focus on ESG ensures that employees at Indeed feel like their voices are heard. “As a mom and activist, I hold corporations accountable for better outcomes for our environment, communities, and employee wellbeing,” says one Indeed employee. “I’m optimistic to see these commitments and will do my part to help bring them to life.”

A closer look at Indeed’s ESG efforts.

“Knowing we are working towards having a positive impact on our planet is important to me as an Indeedian. So many people with barriers face challenges searching for a job and are overlooked by companies. Our commitment to helping those with barriers get hired feels like we are making a big difference.” — Trainings Program Specialist, Jamie Brawer

Indeed’s global ESG teams are currently made up of 60 people, which shows Indeed’s dedication to performing transformational work. And, Indeed’s ESG efforts don’t stop at three pillars! Instead, their efforts fall into six pillars, each with their own well-defined goals. These pillars are:

  1. Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (DI&B) — “Creating fair and unbiased opportunities for Indeedians, job seekers, and our clients. We use data, insights and education to evaluate and improve every stage of the employee life cycle and drive cultural accountability with the support of our Inclusion Resource Groups (IRGs).”

  2. Social Impact — “Expanding access to opportunities for millions of job seekers facing barriers around the world. This pillar works to better the products on the Indeed platform, manage large-scale partnerships, and initiatives in cities where Indeedians live and work.”

  3. Environmental Sustainability — “Transforming how Indeed operates to achieve Indeed’s commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.”

  4. AI Ethics — “Collaborates with teams across Indeed to advance data science applications that promote fair and inclusive hiring.”

  5. Product Inclusion & Accessibility — “Embed inclusive thinking and practices throughout the business so that all Indeed products and offerings are inclusive and equitable.”

  6. Governance — “Build sustainable equity for our people and policies and ensure we achieve our objectives sustainably and consistently.”

As we’ll see in the next section, these efforts are having a concrete positive impact on the company and the communities they operate in…

Indeed’s ESG impact.

1. Environmental

Indeed is committed to conserving natural resources and protecting ecosystems around the world, all while focusing on global health and wellbeing. As part of this, a few of their environmental goals are:

  • Achieving carbon neutrality by the end of 2021, which they accomplished five months ahead of schedule!

  • Achieving net zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

    • This includes greatly reducing their footprint in key areas like business travel, commuting, leased transportation and procured goods and services.

2. Social 

Indeed’s social impact goals are focused on three areas:

  1. Making the job search faster and simpler.

  2. Removing barriers to employment with technology.

  3. Establishing a standard for measuring and improving work happiness. 

Indeed is utilizing two tools to help them achieve these goals:

  1. The Indeed Hiring Platform.

  2. Indeed Interviews.

3. Governmental

As for Indeed’s governmental impact, this involves “building a workforce inside Indeed that reflects the job seekers we serve and making sure we are doing it equitably and sustainably,” says the company. Their goals here include:

  • Increasing Indeed’s workforce representation of women globally to 50% and underrepresented ethnic minorities in the United States to 30% by 2030.

  • Launching a supplier diversity initiative focused on women, LGBTQ+, veterans, people with disabilities and minority-owned businesses.

  • Elevating Sustainability oversight to their parent company, Recruit Holdings’ Board of Directors.

Want to help make a positive impact with the passionate Indeed team? They are on the lookout for new team members!

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