Sustainability Symposium Recap: ESG Essentials Panel

Companies and investors are placing increasing importance on ESG factors to identify potential risk and opportunities for growth. Learn the basics about how to navigate this up-and-coming topic from three of the brightest minds in the field.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is becoming an increasingly important facet of corporate America. Companies are implementing initiatives that protect the environment, care for employees and encourage diversity. Not only are consumers demanding transparency and ethical action, but businesses have realized cost savings, revenue gains and reduced risk from adopting ESG-focused strategies.

The current state of the world (pandemic, social injustice, war) has propelled ESG awareness across the economy. Sara Gutterman, Green Builder Media CEO and panel moderator, acknowledges that “a paradigm shift is happening throughout our entire global economy, bringing with it a new way of thinking about the purpose of a corporation.” 

“Companies are indeed shifting away from a single bottom line consisting solely of financial profitability towards a set of blended values that incorporates environmental stewardship and social justice considerations and really looks at the interests of diverse stakeholders,” Gutterman elaborates.

At the 6th annual Sustainability Symposium, Green Builder Media brought together a powerful panel of experts on ESG, including a builder, manufacturer, and investor. The presenters gave a look into what ESG means from a building, manufacturing and investing standpoint. 

CR Hero, SVP Operations at Bettr Homes, describes ESG as ”the metric by which investors and smart businesses look at the long term viability of a business.” He is excited about the direction ESG is pushing the world– towards a regenerative economy and cradle-to-cradle supply chains.


For Scott Tew, VP of Sustainability and Managing Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability (CEES) at Trane Technologies, ESG presents unique challenges and opportunities for companies. “It’s the challenge of doing everything differently. It's the challenge of moving beyond incremental thinking and incremental actions. It's the challenge of doing more good than less bad.” 

At Trane, ESG is tied to everything they do. Tew believes that as a company, “we have a personal stake in doing better for communities and for the environment. It also has direct implications for how we operate the company and how we design products.”

Eddy Soffer, ESG Manager at Interactive Brokers, confirms the meteoric growth in ESG investing, which he sees firsthand through Interactive Broker’s app called IMPACT.  Soffer believes “ESG is a way to channel financial resources for the betterment of our planet.”

“The time is now. There’s a new generation of consumers, stakeholders and investors who are all demanding ESG solutions,” Soffer asserts.

Watch the attached video for the lively conversation surrounding ESG and what it means going forward. 

Watch the ESG panel here

This Sustainability Symposium content is brought to you by Trane Technologies.