‘Effective ESG integration starts by getting the governance right’, says principal associate

Understanding the needs of stakeholders and the best method to engage with them can help brokers when assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities.

That was highlighted in Biba and Weightmans LLP’s latest Brokers’ Guide to ESG, which was revealed during the association’s annual conference in Manchester earlier this week (10 May 2023).

Steve White, chief executive of Biba, said the purpose of the guide was to “help members understand the direction of travel on ESG”, as well as “support them in integrating ESG into their businesses whatever stage of implementation they may already be at”.

As part of the guide, it highlighted three action points for brokers looking to find “value” when considering stakeholders around ESG.

“Effective ESG integration starts by getting the governance right”, Nicholas Barker, principal associate at Weightmans LLP, said.

Three steps

Step one was for brokers to “understand” stakeholders by identifying internal and external parties which could impact or be affected by the business, such as a contractor or supplier.

Once identified, firms can then “think about the positive and negative factors or conditions” that may impact stakeholders and discuss those factors together.

The guide further noted that at this stage, brokers can benefit from monitoring and periodically reviewing information about stakeholders – similar to a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis.

Step two suggested that a broker worked to understand the needs of its stakeholders.

And step three pointed to identifying the best method of engagement with each stakeholder – this can be hosting discussions in small groups, distributing surveys or engaging with individual representatives.


Biba also highlighted that brokers can seek formal accreditation through the B Corp Certification process, which holds firms to account around ESG.

Considering the guide generally, Barker said: “This guide provides the tools to lay a solid foundation of ESG governance before exploring specific ESG stepping stones.

“Step by step guidance is provided right from initial stakeholder identification to the completion of an ESG materiality assessment through to the implementation of an ESG plan and is a highly useful tool for any firm regardless of where they are currently on the ESG spectrum.”