CINCINNATI, Ohio – During a special Webinar on Thursday, 22-April, Benchmark Digital Partners LLC (formerly Gensuite LLC), a cloud-based compliance and management systems software solutions provider of the award-winning Benchmark ESG platform, invited industry leaders to share their vision for the future of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments and performance. More than 150 attendees joined the hour-long panel discussion featuring key challenges and takeaways from industry executives as well as Benchmark’s leadership team.
For over two decades, Benchmark ESG’s solutions (under the Gensuite® brand) have helped organizations to deliver on their commitments to worker safety, environmental stewardship, & responsible supply chains and have been instrumental in the reduction of millions of tons of greenhouse gases; and in minimizing operational air, water and waste impacts. Benchmark’s Founder and CEO, R. Mukund, initiated the conversation by underlining that the transformation to an ESG-centric business world will require a coordinated, cross-functional and integrated approach – and a shared vision for a digital ESG ecosystem – and invited three key industry leaders to share their perspectives and insights towards enabling this transformation.
“For many organizations, setting an ESG vision and managing resources is a top challenge in making ESG commitments a reality”, explained Doug Pontsler, Chairman & Managing Director of Center of Visual Expertise (COVE) and former VP of EHS & Operational Sustainability at Owens Corning. “Tackling ESG is very much like any large effort that a corporation or organization undertakes to be able to change and enable their focus in certain areas – this begins with having a vision, setting expectations, and aligning the resources of the organization where you can really make a difference,” Pontsler explained. “Limited resources can make this process challenging.”
Rick Taylor, VP – Corporate EHS & Energy of Parker Hannifin Corp., urged companies to create their own vision in determining ESG success rather than allowing ESG ratings to drive sustainability programs. “Don’t let ESG ratings drive your sustainability program. Every company needs to set their own path, what’s important and material to the company, what’s material to stakeholders,” said Taylor. Assigning one person to navigate the program is important, he says. “Every ESG program needs a ‘quarterback’ who understands the functional makeup of the organization and can lead, influence [and] manage across functional areas.”
Knowing where to begin in their ESG efforts is overwhelming for many organizations, said Jeremy Presnal, VP – ESG & Workforce Development of Shermco Industries. He recommended “taking a step back to look at what is material to your organization, establish your key ESG initiatives and programs, determine where they fit and drive action on those initiatives while involving leadership to develop priorities.”
Building on the success of their Pandemic Response Industry Workgroup initiated in 2020, the Benchmark ESG Subscriber & Stakeholder Community has initiated the ESG Vision & Best Practice Sharing Workgroup, a collaborative, cross-industry effort to help shape the direction of effective ESG program design and management, including digital transformation concepts and solutions to enable the effort.
“This has been a great opportunity for us to build upon the foundation that we have already established in EHS, safety, quality and other areas from a business process perspective to better enable functional leaders in the way they develop, deploy, and sustain management systems from an ESG perspective,” said Mukund.
To hear more of these key insights, listen to our Voice of Benchmark podcast, view the on-demand webinar to learn what it will take to deliver on ESG commitments at scale, or contact us to learn more about how our vision of ESG digital transformation aligns with your organization’s ESG goals and objectives.
About Benchmark ESG™ | Gensuite®
Benchmark ESG™ | Gensuite® enables companies to implement robust cross-functional Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Solutions – locally, globally and across diverse operating profiles. Our comprehensive cloud-based software suite features intuitive, best-practice process functionality, flexible configurations and powerful extensions. For over two decades, we’ve helped companies manage safe & sustainable operations worldwide, with a focus on fast return on investment (ROI), service excellence and continuous innovation. Join over 1,500,000 users that trust Benchmark ESG™ Powered by Gensuite® with their software system needs for operational risk and compliance, EHS, sustainability, product stewardship and responsible sourcing.