ESG and DEI in 2024

Both ESG & DEI have become hot button terms in recent years. This article discusses what each of these terms mean, their connection and some recent trends to note.

For most corporations, ESG has become a central focus under Sustainability reporting. As quoted by Andrew Winston, in an HBR article from December 2023, “ESG,” stands for environmental, social and governance, mainly refers to the investor-led movement to understand how social and environmental issues create risk for a business. It’s about helping investors assess a company as an investment. ESG also refers to a fast-changing area of corporate financial reporting, as mandates to disclose material environmental and social risks are multiplying.

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) – at an organizational level means supporting different groups or individuals, irrespective of their races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. Organizations have been investing heavily in DEI programs, especially post the episode of Georg Floyd’s murder in 2020. Some organizations have been successful in mapping their DEI programs and initiatives as their contribution under ‘S’ of the ESG. 

In some of the articles we reviewed (listed below), there have been discussions around how these terms ESG and DEI are receiving some negative attention recently. On a high level, some overarching challenges around this being unclear and changing guidelines, high political and investor attention and public communication and reporting commitments. As 2024 progresses, we may see more updates around these ‘human-centered’ terms, especially with this being the year for elections.

In summary, while it is important to acknowledge the concerns and criticism raised around these social and environmental terms, it is important to remind ourselves of the deep intention behind all this, which is – ensuring equality, welcoming diversity, reducing harm to the environmental and social resources while running a successful business. Changing terminologies and trends should not deviate us from our commitment towards our employees and the environment. 

As we begin planning projects for 2024 with the spirit of making a positive difference to our surroundings and employees, here are some points to consider: 

  1. Revisit your organization’s goals and outcomes for ESG and DEI initiatives
  2. What are the gaps in current programs? Is it time to identify those and re-strategize?
  3. Are we too focused on reporting only? Are we going to be generic? Then it’s probably time to refocus your initiatives and programs based on your: Industry sector and Employee needs and feedback.
  4. Can there be an overlap of initiatives? More hands to join…the merrier! Evaluate how different employee and environment focused initiatives can collaborate within your organization. 
  5. Refer to Embed DEI Within a Culture of Well-Being for more considerations

We at Dimensions-OHS would love to further discuss these points with you and see how we can help you in achieving your commitment towards your employees and the environment. Contact us 

Reference articles:


Photo by Sora Shimazaki

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