Mercer Marsh Benefits

Environmental social governance

Reviewing benefits plans through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and employee relations lenses can help you better manage the expectations of your stakeholders and enhance goodwill with your employees and their representatives.

Managing environmental and social risks

With recent years characterized by pandemics, climate change, political upheaval, and social unrest, businesses are facing more risks than ever before. Organizations that value their reputations should make tackling environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks a priority. HR and risk managers must work together to help their organizations face these challenges and find opportunities to thrive.

There has been a marked shift in the role that society requires businesses to play in relation to ESG risks. Firms that fail to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) or that neglect to tackle climate change risks may face reputational damage, legislative challenges, and even share price falls.

Climate change is also increasing health risks and costs for people and businesses worldwide — and its effects will intensify over time.

Disparities and inequities for disadvantaged groups, including lack of access to healthcare, education, employment opportunities, digital technology, and savings plans has widened the protection gap and poses reputational risks for businesses.

Employers must manage the needs of a multitude of stakeholders, including those focused on environmental and social issues, and also create strong working relationships with unions and work councils.

HR departments have a significant role to play. It is critical that firms’ employee practices reflect their external statements on environmental and social issues. Failing to do so risks criticism from investors, consumers, and the media.

By reviewing your benefit plans through ESG, DEI, and employee relations lenses, you can better understand your stakeholders’ priorities and address them appropriately and cost-effectively.

MMB can help you

Mercer Marsh Benefits can help employers create benefits programs reflective of their ESG commitments and that incorporate global best practices. Working together with you, we can:

  • Assess whether your benefits plan is aligned to your ESG/sustainability goals. Your benefit plan is an expression of your organization’s values.
  • Understand the health disparities that exist within your geography, and consider what you can do as an employer to help overcome them.
  • Look for discriminatory practices in your benefits plan and work with your providers to eradicate them. Examples include exclusions for mental health, HIV, and congenital illnesses.
  • Consider how you can better support employees who are disadvantaged from a socio-economic perspective. This includes addressing key determinants of health like access to healthcare, housing, and transportation.

Report

The five pillars of people risk: Managing risks for business and workforce resilience

Our research examines 25 of the most pertinent threats to employers today to help stakeholders identify, understand and prioritize which risks should be addressed through employee benefits plans, health insurance and other initiatives to minimize the impact to their organization.

71%

of HR and risk managers agree or strongly agree that environmental and social risks pose a serious threat to the business.

47%

say environmental risks are likely, and 42% say these risks could have a catastrophic impact.

2nd highest

DEI was ranked as the second highest environmental and social risk, followed by labor and employee relations.

Learn how we can help you manage your environmental and social risks.

Speak with one of our team today.