You may recall reading or hearing about the subject of environment, social, and governance (ESG) from our earnings discussions, or perhaps you’ve come across it in your everyday reading. ESG describes a set of factors that evaluate investment and company impact beyond traditional financial measures. You can even think of it as an extension of corporate social responsibility.
ESG topics have become points of significant global focus, especially with investors, as these factors help to establish best practices and are the hallmark of resilient businesses and business models. According to Morningstar, ESG funds (also known as sustainable funds) captured $51.1 billion of new money from investors in 2020, which is more than double that of the previous year.
Our corporate social responsibility is a vital component of our quest to deliver a better world.” — Chuck Harrington, CEO Of Parsons Corporation
We have a long-standing reputation for corporate social responsibility, including when we were a private company. We have published reports for more than a decade capturing various metrics on environment, our workforce and diversity, and governance practices—not because we had to, but because it was the right thing to do. ESG has always been a focal point for our business operations and our role as an employer of choice.
Over the last year, we’ve taken a step back to truly understand and prioritize these ESG factors, while taking actions that will continue making a positive impact on the world. We refreshed our sustainability policies and expanded our Code of Conduct, established an ESG Steering Committee, renamed the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee to the Corporate Responsibility and Governance Committee to better define its oversight of ESG topics, and began to expand our supplier diversity program, just to name a few. Moving forward, we want to take it to the next level.
In 2020, we worked with an independent third party to perform a materiality assessment. We learned that ESG and how we deliver on our corporate purpose matters to our customers, our employees, our investors, and our prospective employees. This assessment helped us develop a formal ESG strategy, prioritize actions, and take strategic and deliberate steps to make a positive impact as we work together to deliver a better world.
In early March, we launched Cultivating a Responsible Enterprise (CARE), our ESG strategy that leverages the strength of our core values, establishes transparency and accountability on ESG topics like climate change and diversity, and provides a framework to increase shareholder value over time. Our new CARE website highlights these goals as well as our policies, oversight relationships, and reporting details. With a culture driven by growth, we will nurture our commitment by enhancing our GRI disclosures, empower our employees through recognition opportunities, and positively affect our world.