More B.C. businesses will be able to diversify markets for their world-class goods and create sustainable jobs for people with access to tools, resources and training through the creation of a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Centre of Excellence.
“More than ever, investors and consumers here at home and around the globe are becoming ESG-conscious, and our government is working hard to help B.C. businesses adapt and grow within this economic environment,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “By developing an ESG Centre of Excellence, the Province is supporting B.C. business owners with innovative tools that will strengthen their businesses and help them attract new markets and investors.”
The launch of this new virtual ESG Centre will provide concierge-type services to businesses, at no cost, to help them navigate their ESG journey. Client advisers will provide one-on-one support and a suite of tools and resources to help businesses understand the fundamentals of ESG and why it can be important to their growth.
A trial cohort of businesses will provide feedback to enhance the user experience. Centre staff will continue to solicit feedback to streamline and improve the available tools and resources as part of a commitment to continuous improvement.
“Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters have long identified ESG as a critical component for the growth of manufacturing in Canada,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, divisional vice-president, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “By supporting B.C. businesses as they navigate ESG and learn how it can strengthen their operations, the Province is helping businesses get ahead of the curve and build a more inclusive and sustainable industry.”
A new ESG advisory council, comprised of seven B.C.-based ESG leaders and experts, will act as a consultative body to advise and inform about the implementation and ongoing operations of the centre. The first meeting was held on Jan. 22, 2024.
“Around the world, companies are increasingly recognizing the advantages of upholding higher standards when it comes to the environmental, social and democratic impacts of their business,” said Jonathan Fowlie, chief external relations officer and head of impact strategy at Vancity and member of the ESG Advisory Council. “As British Columbia emerges as a leader in fostering the growth of businesses with positive social and environmental impact, I look forward to working with the centre and the tools and resources it provides to help make B.C. a global destination for ESG investment and talent.”
Earlier this year, the Province invested as much as $7.1 million to fund the establishment of the ESG Centre of Excellence. The Centre of Excellence has now been launched and the remaining funding will be used to develop and expand it over the coming fiscal year.
To learn about the ESG Centre of Excellence, visit: www.esgbc.ca
To learn about StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan
Two backgrounders follow.