Advisory Services

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Starting, maintaining and measuring an ESG program can be challenging. Bring clarity to your sustainability journey.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

What is an ESG Consultant?

An ESG consultant provides clarity and insights into the risks and opportunities associated with addressing Environmental, Social and Governance issues for your business. ESG consultants have in-depth knowledge about ESG strategy, program implementation and reporting. They also can share insights on the regulatory landscape, ESG trends and best practices.

The key benefits and reasons to hire an ESG consultant include:

  • ✔ Knowledge of ESG materiality issues across a diverse set of industries
  • ✔ Assess which ESG frameworks and reporting requirements apply to your business
  • ✔ Application of financial reporting principals and controls to non-financial data
  • ✔ Access to technology solutions to reduce the error-prone and time-consuming manual data entry process for ESG reporting
Key Components
Fully Integrated Solutions
Choose from a range of services across environmental consulting, branding and accounting to help maximize the value of your ESG programs and the effectiveness of your reports to investors, customers, suppliers and others. Implement all or a selection of ESG programs, technology and strategy including:
ESG Readiness Assessments
ESG Readiness Assessments
Evaluate against relevant ESG frameworks, benchmark and communicate results to your organization
Business Structure Evaluation
Business Structure Evaluation
Assess tax credit strategies that are available for select ESG initiatives
ESG Program Development
ESG Program Development
Identify goals with your leaders and develop a roadmap aligned to your strategic plan and industry
ESG Program Implementation
ESG Program Implementation
Establish programs and technology to advance ESG goals, including outsourced management or support
Compliance and Reporting
Compliance and Reporting
Verify your performance against industry and regulatory frameworks via outsourced internal audits
Internal Communications and Branding
Internal Communications and Branding
Develop messaging to communicate ESG initiatives inside your organization and in the marketplace
Continuous Improvement
Continuous Improvement
Ensure continued success of your ESG efforts and identify opportunities for success and growth

ESG Readiness Assessment

An ESG readiness assessment examines your current business practices and benchmarks them against the critical ESG material issues for your industry. It takes the guesswork out of what your competitors are doing and what your investors, customers, workers, and communities desire from your business. The assessment includes an industry-specific materiality assessment, as well as a review of major ESG frameworks and a recommendation to utilize the most relevant framework(s) based on a company’s strategic plan and ESG goals.

ESG Roadmap

Once an organization has completed an ESG readiness assessment, your leadership team and consultant can jointly create an ESG roadmap that is aligned with your strategic plan. The roadmap includes a list of initiatives that can be completed along a short, medium, and long-term horizon to provide quick wins and strategic investments in improving your Environmental, Social and Governance impacts. This gives your leadership team the confidence to take action, knowing they are prioritizing the ESG initiatives that will minimize risks and take advantage of market opportunities.

ESG Program Implementation

Equipped with a readiness assessment and roadmap, your business is ready to establish a detailed ESG program with objectives and key results to advance initiatives. A robust ESG program removes silos within your organization and empowers cross-functional collaboration to reach desired outcomes. Don’t have the in-house resources to manage your ESG program? Consider investing in outsourced program management to support your internal team on the continued path to ESG success and avoid the risk of “greenwashing” accusations.

ESG Tax Credit Strategy

One of the bottom-line opportunities that arises from implementing an ESG Program is taking advantage of existing federal, state, and local green energy tax credits. Government entities are investing in sustainability incentives and ESG-savvy tax professionals can support your company in applying for them to reduce your tax liability.

ESG Compliance & Audits

The “EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation” and the “Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Climate Risk Reporting Guidelines” are two of the major ESG regulatory reporting requirements to be released recently. Public companies and large multi-national entities are expected to obtain limited assurance and reasonable assurance on non-financial ESG reported data as soon as 2024. This means companies will need to establish strong internal controls and apply the same rigor to reporting on their quantitative and qualitative ESG metrics as they do for current financial reporting.

Registered public accounting firms can provide either outsourced ESG internal audit services or ESG assurance services to their clients, but not at the same time to avoid a conflict of interest. Companies must be wary of practitioners who claim that they can provide both sets of services and who claim they can provide assurance but are not registered public accounting firms. Environmental and diversity, equity and inclusion consultants are useful in the creation of ESG strategies and programs but are not qualified to provide internal audit and assurance services.

ESG Reporting Strategy

Each company should evaluate the impact that ESG reporting will have on stakeholders and the business. More than 90 percent of publicly traded companies voluntarily report in adherence to one or more ESG frameworks. As part of their ESG strategy, companies will review the competitive landscape and the demands of their investors, customers and workers in determining the best ESG reporting approach to take. Then, savvy companies will deploy advanced ESG reporting software solutions to provide an audit trail while easing the data collection and management processes for their teams. An ESG consultant can support your company in selecting the best technology tool for your organization’s needs.

ESG Certification Guidance

Some companies choose to obtain third party verification of their ESG commitment and success. Making sense of the ESG Certification process can be challenging. For instance, B Corporation Certification is only achieved by one-third of the companies that undertake the nonprofit organization’s assessment and verification process. Getting assistance from a multidisciplinary team of ESG experts can help you achieve your desired certification and maximize your efforts. Subsequently, internal communications professionals can help build alignment and engagement with your ESG Certification to support recruiting and retention. Branding professionals can share your success with your investors, your customers and your community to advance your market eminence.

Checklist

How to Select an ESG Consultant

When selecting an ESG Consultant, ensure the organization is a registered public accountant with access to multidisciplinary subject matter experts in environmental and diversity, equity and inclusion consulting. 

Registered public accountants have been held to stringent standards for the last 100 years, and fraud prevention reporting standards for the last 20 years.

Here is a list of questions for your consideration when interviewing potential ESG consulting service providers:

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scorecard
ESG Scorecard
Assess Your ESG Strategy
Are you ready to assess your organization’s ESG strategy? Click on the button below to get an industry-specific sample ESG scorecard to identify the ROI and KPIs for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Why Armanino for ESG Consulting?

Armanino is using its business as a force for good. As the only certified B Corporation amongst the nation’s top 20 accounting and business consulting firms, we are accelerating a global culture shift to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Our firm includes ESG assurance subject matter experts who have been awarded the United Nations Global Climate Action Award and been certified in SASB’s Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting. Our team can help you develop your own impactful ESG program and provide ESG compliance services that will support business growth and address stakeholder priorities concurrently.

ESG Experts
Bianca Sarrach headshot
Partner
Bianca focuses on improving clients’ operational and financial business processes and accounting procedures.

St. Louis, MO
Mary Tressel - Operations | Armanino
Practice Leader, ESG Services
Mary successfully led Armanino's B Corporation journey and gives clients confidence to build resilient organizations.

San Ramon, CA
Kris Russell - Consulting | Armanino
Senior Manager
Kris helps companies meet Environmental, Social & Governance goals, improving sustainability and positive impacts.

Dallas, TX
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Contact Our ESG Experts Today!

From risk assessments and framework selection to report guidance and independent assurance of data, our team can assist your ESG strategy and efforts.