Blog Post

April 8, 2021

How Does ESG Differ from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Photo by N Bandaru on Unsplash

Significant efforts are underway to plan, develop, implement, and assess sustainability efforts across communities, companies, and countries alike. To meet present needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their own needs, sustainability has become a KPI for all.  

What is ESG?

ESG means using environmental, social, and governance factors to evaluate companies and countries on how far advanced they are in their sustainability efforts. Environmental factors include how the entity combats climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste management, and being more energy efficient. The social factors include human and labor rights, especially regarding supply chain and workplace health and safety. Finally, the governance factors refer to a set of rules or principles that outline responsibilities and expectations between various stakeholders and the corporate governance system (although it would be the government of a nation when referring to a country).  

What is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is a self-regulating business model that helps companies become more socially accountable. Not just to itself but also to its stakeholders and the public too. By practicing corporate social responsibility (or corporate citizenship as it's also called), companies become more aware of their impact on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.  

What’s the Difference Between CSR and ESG?

CSR has been around for several years now, but it often refers to "softer" qualitative issues. ESG, on the other hand, can quantify a company's use of natural resources, conflict minerals, social impact, and good governance. This is because ESG data elevates these issues to the investor position, while technology has made it possible to gather more granular reporting data. In a nutshell, ESG offers a quantifiable measure of a company or country's sustainability and societal impact, using metrics that matter to investors. CSR, unfortunately, is self-regulated without measurable data.  


In short, CSR provides accountability within your organization, and ESG collects and measures metrics that are relevant to your business objectives and stakeholders. For example, CSR encompasses community involvement/volunteering, employee advancement in their careers, participation in fair trade agreements, or products and service donations. ESG, on the other hand, focuses more on, for example, GHG emissions and climate risk, what is the % of women or people of color (POC) represented on the board, pay equity, topics on diversity and inclusion, as well as ethical behavior and anti-corruption.  

What Are the Benefits of an ESG Program?

There are plenty! For starters, it can help improve resource management and sustainability. Companies are able to have better risk management and proactively comply with regulations. Some studies have shown that ESG-compliance companies make significant profits, attract more investors, and attract and retain employees. Lastly, customers tend to be happier, and stakeholder demands are met. Not bad.  

How Can CyanoGuard Help with ESG?

Thanks to our secure and digital cyanide optimization with Cyano.IO

our cloud-based platform – you can access real-time data 24/7. Not only can you make empowered decisions on cyanide concentrations and consumption with full traceability, but you can also share relevant cyanide data with stakeholders to achieve transparency and comply with environmental standards. For example, some of our customers use our technology during Open Days to show the local communities their process for cyanide testing and the results found in the water basin adjacent to their mines.  

If you're looking to boost your ESG rating and make your data more transparent and readily available, then contact us today to discover how our solutions can help you achieve those goals.  

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