Sustainability Network and Support (Cohort 2)

Sustainability Network and Support (Cohort 2)

Final expert-led peer session focusing on Materiality Assessments for SMEs looking to adopt sustainability as a pillar of commercial growth

Who is this Network and Support programme for?

Building on the success of our Women in Business and Scale up Network & Support programmes, we were delighted to be able to add a Sustainability-focused offering for our clients looking to develop sustainable credentials as part of their commercial growth strategy.

Sustainability doesn’t have to be this huge regulatory burden, looming on the horizon; we can harness its power to drive sound business decisions and capitalise on growth opportunities.

COP26 made it ominously clear: companies failing to align their business strategies to sustainability targets will get left behind. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has amassed unprecedented attention over recent years, as such, we can start to analyse the returns for those companies who rate well in this area versus those who rate less well. It’s estimated that high ESG performers are now, on average, seeing operating margins of some 3.7 times higher and delivering 2.6 times greater shareholder returns than their counterparts rating average or less well in ESG. Sustainability is becoming a mechanism to not only address the critical issues we face as a planet and in our society, but also to remain relevant and competitive, create long-term value, and secure company longevity.

Furthermore, for those of us seeking equity investment as part of our growth strategy, Ernst & Young’s most recent Global Institutional Investor Survey stated that 74% of investors were more likely to divest from companies with poor sustainability performance, and a whopping 90% said they are starting to focus heavily on a company’s sustainability performance when making investment decisions.

In response to this imperative, we assembled some of the region’s leading experts to host a series of virtual peer sessions exploring 4 principle areas of sustainability and how companies can embrace them as a pillar of long-term growth. Peer group members benefit not only from specialist insights but also from discussions with like-minded business owners.

We are delighted to welcome expert Caroline Johnstone of Rawstone Consulting to deliver this final session in the series. This very practical session will focus on the value of Materiality Assessments as a mechanism to help identify and understand the relative importance of specific ESG and sustainability topics to an organisation. This exercise involves looking at a variety of factors through two particular lenses: potential impact on the organisation and importance to stakeholders.

What can I expect from this Network and Support programme?

This event is for high-growth SMEs and scale ups who recognise the importance of sustainability in securing future growth and profitability, but who want to learn from experts and peers how to fully embed these principles into their business growth, resilience, and compliance strategies. Sessions have been structured to specifically address this need.

For more information about the eScalate programme, visit: www.oxfordshirelep.com/escalate

Please note that these 1:1 sessions are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and are delivered as part of the eScalate programme to help SMEs. By engaging in this programme you are being offered assistance under the De Minimis regulation which allows a company to receive up to but not exceeding €200,000 of public funding (at the applicable exchange rate) of De Minimis aid over a rolling three-tax year fiscal period. This de minimis declaration does not cover undertakings engaged in: the primary production of agricultural goods and fisheries/aquaculture, road freight, services of general economic interest and export related activities and activities favouring domestic over imported goods. Please note, support cannot be given to undertakings (businesses) in difficulty. In order to receive support from this programme, you will be required to complete an application form and other relevant documentation.