The B.C. government wants to attract and promote companies with business plans that promote inclusion, Indigenous reconciliation, environmentally sustainable practices and use of ethically produced materials.
Business leaders say they embrace these so-called ESG or environmental, social and governance values. However, they are urging the province to resist excessive regulatory measures and instead create the conditions to “let the marketplace decide” how to respond.
“If you don’t have your act together as a small business or as a multinational, you may find yourself on the wrong side of capital markets, so you won’t get investments,” said Greg D’Avignon, CEO of the B.C. Business Council.
“Folks may take their money out of your business or you might find employees unwilling to stay with you or consider you as an employer, if you do not meet their environmental or diversity priorities. You might have customers who want to know where your raw materials come from to ensure they are ethically produced or environmentally sustainable.”