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Jun 1, 2021

It's a Hot Topic: ESG: Environment / Social / Governance Reporting

by Heathe Cooper

ESG is widely considered to be a performance measuring device for investors on how a company participates in efforts relating to Environment, Social and Governance. It is fast becoming essential to report just like financials for a public company, but in truth, ESG is for everyone. 

Although a small private creative organization made up of 13 talented individuals (we won't be sharing our financials with you!), Watermark is conveying how we contribute to being responsible for the betterment of our environment. We are transparently sharing what we have done and where we are going in terms of our past efforts and initiating the setting of internal goals for future efforts to be conscientious both as a company and as individuals representing Watermark.

Although becoming more mandatory for public companies, it is important for us to develop our own practices in the ESG arena and communicate them to Watermark's stakeholders: clients, vendors, employees, friends and partners.

How does Watermark 'Make Its Mark' in the ESG Arena?

Environment: Every little bit counts!

We: 

  • have recycle bins that are larger than our non-recycle trash bins

  • helped clean up a nature area in Central Park (Denver) to celebrate Earth Day 2021

  • buy canned (vs. plastic/bottled) water for our offices, in order to be more environmentally sustainable

  • distribute internal documents electronically to save paper and decrease the use of ink

  • reclaim presentation boards from clients for re-use

  • pick up trash along the way every time one of our members enjoys a weekend hike

  • recycle at each of our homes

  • do our part to reduce the carbon footprint by consolidating and decreasing auto travel when at all possible

Social: We support causes, raise funds and nurture our team spirit Watermark is very conscientious in terms of supporting important causes:

  • Creative Strategies for Change

  • Dress for Success

  • Honeybee Foundation

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Feeding America

  • Denver Rescue Mission

  • Black Lives Matter

  • Stop Asian Hate

Our company also provides/supports employee benefits for healthcare/vision/dental, life insurance policies, 401K savings plans, training for continued learning and offers other optional benefits.

We meet as a team almost daily to share victories, challenges and areas where one might need assistance from the team. In addition, our principals understand that the concept of team is supported by events other than work:

  • Volleyball

  • Weekend hiking

  • Holiday party

  • Birthday lunches

  • All-office outings

Governance: Transparency comes in many forms, including our ability to offer ideas for the betterment of our processes. Clear guidance of expectations are also implemented.

  • Employee handbook

  • Standardization of Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Performance Reviews

  • Bi-weekly 15Five intakes

  • D&I hiring practices

  • Annual meeting to employees

We strive to be transparent, set an example to our community, and enjoy the journey along the way...responsibly!

Have you thought about what your company does to communicate and participate in ESG efforts?