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Focus on Leadership EY

Meghan Harris-Ngae is a partner at EY in Calgary. Photo supplied by EY.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Green isn’t just the new black for Calgary’s corporate leaders. The environment is just one of many considerations organizations have these days as environmental, social and good governance has become part of the corporate fabric.

And professional services firm EY has been working with them hand-in-glove to navigate this big shift in perspective among corporations big and small.

“The biggest shift is that environmental, social and governance concerns — or ESG, for short — are something that are no longer good because ‘we’re being charitable’ from a corporate perspective,” says Meghan Harris-Ngae, partner at EY in Calgary. “Rather, it’s done now because it’s very much a driver of long-term financial stability and resilience.”

Harris-Ngae is one of Canada’s leading consultants in this space, having worked closely with many of Calgary’s largest companies to drive value for shareholders and society through ESG strategy.

"When we look at the Calgary context, the focus on ESG presents a sizable opportunity to accelerate economic diversification, while attracting talent and capital into the city.”

Increasingly, capital investment flows to companies with strong ESG policies and strategies that address issues like transitioning to a lower-carbon economy, truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We collaborate very closely with our clients across the entire ecosystem to help refresh their ESG strategies and make sure these are fully integrated into corporate strategy,” Harris-Ngae adds. “Right now, climate change is one of the primary focus areas for many sectors.”

Yet, so too is stakeholder engagement on all aspects of ESG, including community engagement and impact.

“Traditionally, the social side of ESG was less of a focus than environment, but now companies are laser focused on their social strategies and are demonstrating through action their commitment to society.”

Harris-Ngae adds EY has become a key strategic partner in these areas for firms in the city not just in oil and gas but across the spectrum, from finance to logistics to technology and renewable energy.

As she further notes, these concerns are no longer ancillary for corporate leaders; ESG must be at the core of corporate planning to guarantee an organization will be around for the long term.

“We are helping organizations across the economy navigate challenges like climate change and, in turn, unlock opportunities to be resilient, to attract top talent and to be successful in the future.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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