The ESG expert and Co-founder of Embellie Advisory unpacks some of the common ESG challenges facing organizations, how his consultancy drives positive change, and how he sees the partnership with IsoMetrix working.
Earlier this year, IsoMetrix partnered with renowned Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) consultancy Embellie Advisory with a view to providing integrated ESG strategy and technology solutions to clients across the globe.
Founded in 2013 by ESG experts and university professors, Embellie Advisory has primary offices located in Doha, Lima, Miami, and Maputo, where its experts monitor above-the-ground risks and develop innovative best practices for partners on three continents.
The organization’s Co-founder and Managing Director, Dr Remi Piet sees a strong compatibility and synergy between Embellie Advisory and IsoMetrix, and believes that clear opportunities exist for the partnership to optimize his clients’ ESG performance, and improve their sustainability practices across a variety of different industry sectors.
We got in touch with him to discover more regarding his consultancy, how IsoMetrix fits in, and all things ESG.
ESG has become a very relevant and visible topic in today’s business environment. What are some of the most common ESG challenges and risks which Embellie Advisory is seeing in its consultancy work with its clients across the globe?
Dr Remi Piet:
ESG concerns are unique to each project and community, and form a growing challenge for companies, especially for the ‘S’ and the ‘G’ dimensions which may be harder to quantify but are still essential to investors’ decisions to finance companies.
The objective of our ESG advisory service is to create sustainable value for both companies and communities, with a tailored approach to local inclusive development. Being able to report on ESG performance and monitor commitments to investors and stakeholders is an essential component of this mission.
To support sustainable investors and operators, Embellie Advisory contributes by collecting accurate ESG data based on sound metrics, establishing the ESG impact of business operations, and by communicating ESG processes and results to a range of stakeholders varying from local communities to investors.
This data also allows us to define an adapted strategy with each of our partners to improve ESG performance, and to assess the impact of corrective ESG initiatives.
Once the data has been collected, our clients need support in formulating ESG strategies that include tailored mitigation for a range of evolving local and macro socioeconomic risks: political, economic, social, reputational, operational, and legal.
Whether in our work with investors (due diligence and counterparty risk assessments) or companies (local content, community relations, stakeholder mapping), our work focuses on the ‘S’ and ‘G’ of ESG where challenges are growing.
The rise of ESG as a key driver for investment and operational success has added a new responsibility to corporate leadership, but also a key opportunity to increase the sustainability of their operations and secure the relevant social license to operate.
How does Embellie Advisory drive positive change with its clients? What processes or mechanisms are utilized to improve their ESG processes and performance?
Building on my answer to the previous question, to improve an organization’s ESG performance we deploy on-site teams to establish a social and ESG baseline, and collect quantitative and qualitative data with local stakeholders. We then work with companies to calculate ESG impact via several sets of methodologies.
These include environmental impacts (such as carbon footprint, water footprint, etc.) as well as social and governance impacts, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative tools. The IsoMetrix LuminaTM platform for example, is a technology tool to collect this type of data.
We also conduct further social impact assessments, as well as transparency and governance monitoring via cross-sectorial collaboration training and anti-corruption protocols socialization.
We drive positive change by developing incremental partnerships with stakeholders and designing tailored initiatives for local content, and by supporting entrepreneurship and local institutions.
These include the organization of public hearings and roundtables with communities, as well as ESG enhancing initiatives such as supporting local entrepreneurship, and improving the social license to operate status of our partners.
Finally, we report results to ESG-conscious investors via ESG monitoring and intelligence reports as part of our investment. Our reports cover ESG risks at national, regional, and local levels along those six dimensions I mentioned previously – political, economic, social, reputational, operational, and legal.
What are Embellie Advisory’s top three recommendations for companies looking to begin or improve upon their ESG performance and reporting?
Use trusted partners. This goes for both the software implementation and usage, as well as for any advisory services. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can, or should, handle these aspects yourself.
Be ambitious and incremental in your approach. Understand your ESG gaps and implement adapted comprehensive solutions.
Focus on the E (Environmental) in Europe and North America. Focus on the S (Social) and on the G (Governance) in emerging markets.
Let’s return to the topic of our partnership. As Embellie Advisory and IsoMetrix join forces, what significant overall benefits do you see us bringing to our mutual customers?
There’s quite a few. Firstly, I think that there’s clear complementarity between the on-the-ground overall ESG expertise of Embellie Advisory, and the quality of the ESG management platform developed by IsoMetrix.
Using a technology platform with a wide range of data capabilities greatly assists in defining a tailored ESG strategy, and implementing adapted ESG initiatives.
In combination, Embellie Advisory and IsoMetrix can collect actionable information, identify ESG gaps, and implement corrective initiatives based on ESG best-practices.
Basically, I think our partnership forms an excellent integrated solution for a customer in need of comprehensive ESG reporting, assessment, and recommendations.
Can you explain the collaboration process a little bit more? At what stage does each party get involved in the process, and how does each one influence the overall result?
Embellie Advisory will perform the initial ESG assessment, create an ESG risk profile with gaps and opportunities, and build an ESG management program.
IsoMetrix would then set up a central management system with its IsoMetrix LuminaTM platform, and onboard and train users. The IsoMetrix LuminaTM platform would package, analyze, and display the captured ESG data according to industry standards and regulations, as well as create the required ESG reports.
Embellie Advisory would then assist the customer in communicating the results of these reports to stakeholders and investors, and we’d also assist with updating the ESG strategy where required.
There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but that’s the high-level summary.
For which markets and geographic regions will Embellie Advisory and IsoMetrix’s collaborative services be available?
All markets are relevant. They range from natural resources (Agroindustry, Mining, Energy, Forestry, etc.) to industrial, retail, and even the financial sector. ESG performance improvement has become such a common and important request from both investors and end-users alike.
In terms of geography, we are operating globally with a specific focus on the Americas and EMEA.
* For more information on Embellie Advisory, check out their website here.
* Learn more about IsoMetrix’s all-in-one ESG management solution powered by the IsoMetrix LuminaTM platform.