ESG white paper and maturity matrix seek to improve understanding within the charity sector

London, 16 September 2020 – ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute has published an ESG white paper and maturity matrix to help charities focus on the important environmental, social and governance issues that the sector needs to consider.   

Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not for Profit) at the Institute says: 

“Public awareness of environmental issues, social injustice and the negative consequences of poor governance practices has been growing in recent years as media focus has brought ESG concerns to a greater audience. There are increasing pressures on charities to demonstrate that they are making a positive impact on society and are not doing any harm to others in the pursuit of their charitable objects. 

“On top of this, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought certain elements of the ESG agenda into sharp focus, such as the use of digital, reduced travel, office space, flexible working and alternative business models. Charities need to pay greater attention to their responsibilities in all these areas, as well as the benefits that can be achieved through having a solid ESG strategy, such as attracting and retaining staff and volunteers, hence the reason we have produced a white paper on ESG which lays out the types of considerations charities should be focusing on and a maturity matrix to help boards consider how they might report on ESG.” 

The white paper focuses on the following areas: 

  • What ESG is
  • The potential opportunities and benefits for charities of engaging in ESG
  • Practical suggestions to start board conversations and implement changes
  • A maturity matrix for boards to assess and identify the degree to which they can and want to embrace ESG in their broader reporting arrangements.

“While larger charities, with funds to invest, will be aware of the increasing use of ESG in terms of investment decisions, others will not be as familiar with the concept or believe that it is relevant to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. ESG is not just a new version of reputational risk management, it is a concept that could potentially change the way charities think about values, attract support and maximise impact. It will come with some costs, but could yield significant benefits which will ultimately support the sustainability of the charity while creating a more positive impact on the communities it seeks to serve,” concludes Louise.

The white paper can be downloaded for free at 

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:

+44 (0)20 7612 7072

+44 (0)7890 649 143



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