Is your business getting new ESG questions in proposals for new client work?

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Want to win an RFP? You’ll need answers to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) questions.

As companies prioritize sustainability and responsible business practices, Request For Proposals (RFPs) are more and more including ESG questions. Yep. You’ll need to know your environmental impacts, and have data on your employee and community engagement. As a result, it is important for businesses to understand what ESG is, why it is important, and how to effectively answer ESG questions in an RFP.

What is ESG? 

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG factors are used to evaluate a company’s sustainability and ethical impact on society and the environment. Environmental factors include a company’s impact on natural resources, carbon emissions, and waste management. Social factors include employee relations, labor standards, and community engagement. Governance factors include executive compensation, board structure, and risk management.

Why is ESG important?

ESG is important because it helps companies understand the impact they have on the environment and society. By considering ESG factors, companies can make more informed decisions about their operations, products, and services. Additionally, companies that prioritize ESG are often viewed more favorably by customers, investors, and other stakeholders.

How to effectively answer ESG questions in an RFP

Understand the question: The first step in answering an ESG question in an RFP is to thoroughly understand the question being asked. It is important to read the question carefully and ensure that you are addressing all aspects of the question.

Gather information: Once you understand the question, you will need to gather information to support your answer. This may involve reviewing company policies, procedures, and reports, as well as conducting research on industry best practices.

Provide specific examples: When answering an ESG question in an RFP, it is important to provide specific examples of how your company has addressed the issue in question. This may involve discussing specific policies or initiatives your company has implemented, as well as providing data and metrics to demonstrate your company’s progress in addressing the issue.

Be transparent: It is important to be transparent when answering ESG questions in an RFP. This may involve discussing areas where your company is still working to improve its ESG practices, as well as any challenges or obstacles your company has faced in addressing the issue in question.

Use a consistent framework: When answering ESG questions in an RFP, it can be helpful to use a consistent framework to organize your response. This may involve using industry-standard frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Collaborate with internal stakeholders: Answering ESG questions in an RFP often requires input from multiple departments within a company. It is important to collaborate with internal stakeholders, such as the sustainability team, legal team, and investor relations team, to ensure that your response is comprehensive and accurate.

Here are some example ESG questions and potential responses for your next RFP

Question 1: How does your company manage its carbon emissions?

Our company has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce our carbon emissions. We have set a target to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030, and have implemented a number of energy-efficient measures in our operations, including upgrading to LED lighting and investing in renewable energy sources. Additionally, we have implemented a carbon offset program to offset any emissions that we are unable to reduce.

Question 2: How does your company promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Our company is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We have established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force, which is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in our workforce. Some of our DEI initiatives include unconscious bias training for all employees, a mentorship program for underrepresented

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