ESG’ (Environmental, Social and Governance indicators) is a hot topic in the private business world, including banking, and in the US has even become a contested issue (Forbes magazine here, or FT here (paywall)). It should be axiomatic that credit unions are positively engaged with these topics, but is that clear to members and stakeholder, and how should credit unions respond to this agenda that comes essentially from the private and public – not co-operative – sectors?

In this paper, Lucy Harr, US writer and credit unionist, explains the ESG agenda (and the Sustainable Development Goals too) in a credit union context. It seems clear that credit unions will need to demonstrate their action in ESG areas if they are to sustain their differentiation from private sector providers, and there are direct links to the social impact reporting covered by Swoboda publications and others (for example here and here).

This paper is essential reading to be informed about ESG. Download the paper here.

Lucy has written previously for Swoboda. Read this on effective CEOs and this on top-performing boards.