Today, we’re very happy to be having a conversation with Suzanne Shelton, from the Shelton Group.
The Shelton Group is the country’s leading marketing communications firm, exclusively focused in the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) space, and it exists to help companies gain a market advantage, as a result of what they are doing to create a world that is both sustainable, and socially just.
The Shelton Group achieves its aim through creating on-going insights gatherings to discuss the thinking and the expectations of the market, and the way people’s thoughts and expectations translate into the brands they prefer, and the products that they buy. Once have these insights have obtained, they are applied in the form of marketing communication strategies and communication platforms, which the company then amplifies out, over time, on behalf of their clients.
Suzanne founded the company twenty-nine years ago, and they have been focused on the ESG space for the last fifteen years.
The bias of the Shelton Group
Suzanne explains that the bias of the Shelton Group is that they believe in the power of organizations as well as the power of entrepreneurialism. And fundamentally, they trust in the strength and intensity of business and competition.
Suzanne thinks that she is also wired in the same way!
Solving problems in the world
Suzanne explains that businesses can be a force for good, provided that whatever they do also benefits the business, in terms of money, or profit.
There are many problems to be solved in the world, so the framework of the Shelton Group is that business can be utilized as a force for good, to help solve some of those problems. However, the only realistic way that any business can work as a force for good is if there is some monetary value in it for that business.
A pragmatic approach
Suzanne believes that businesses need to be able to explain pragmatically how they can read and measure their market advantage, and how they intend to execute against that.
An optimistic view
Suzanne is an optimist. She feels certain that we will weather the storm of the global pandemic, and come out on the other side, stronger and better than before.
She is also optimistic that businesses will indeed solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The good news
Wall Street has lately been asking questions that they weren’t asking five years ago. And investors are asking questions on investor calls with Fortune 500 companies about diversion and inclusion policies, or greenhouse gas emissions. So if a company doesn’t have their environmental and their social acts together, they will not be able to answer those questions.
For Suzanne, now that Wall Street has started asking these questions, it feels like financials are finally a part of the environment, and also of the work-streams within our society. She feels that Corporate America is now motivated in a way that it has never been before.
The best thing that’s happened
In Suzanne’s view, the best thing that has happened in terms of moving everyone towards the creation of a sustainable future is that Wall Street has started asking some important questions that they were not asking before.
The ESG framework
The ESG framework is a framework through which rating agencies measure and rate the performance of companies based on a host of metrics under the environmental, social, and governance categories. Then, the scores get reported out to fund managers and investors on Wall Street.
Part of the ESG framework is that they have real metrics on many different social issues, including gender equity, racial equity, and even pay equity.
Where business needs to go to create meaningful solutions
Although what is happening in America right now is generally not good for business in the long run, Suzanne points out that there is no business case for global warming or societal unrest either.
Suzanne’s advice to business people is to embrace stakeholder capitals and a triple-bottom-line approach because that’s the best way for them to move forward, assist in making sense of the world, and help in creating peace within it.
That approach makes total sense to Suzanne, and she feels that, ultimately, it will be best for businesses, best for the world, and best for the planet, because they are all connected.
Links and resources:
Go to the Green Home Coach website and click on the “consult with me” link for a free 20-minute consult with Marla about the product swaps you can do in your home.
For Curated Better and Green Products: