ESG just comes natural to credit unions

Couple talking with professional

This September 1 article on Axios resonates with a few points I made at the recent roundtable the Association held regarding ESG—mainly that more workers are making employment decisions based “not just on salaries and benefits, but also social impact and their personal beliefs.”

That is, many people want to work somewhere that makes the world a better place.

Watch a recording of the roundtable, and get ESG resources from the Association’s resource center, here.

While the article never explicitly mentions ESG, the themes are there. In fact, now that I’m aware that ESG is a thing (not the case 4 months ago), I see shades of ESG all over. I recommend that credit union executive teams gain an understanding of ESG.

The primary idea behind ESG is that businesses should not just make profits, but also improve society. In fact, ESG proponents argue, improving society is an important long-term strategy.

A core aspect of well-being is financial stability. Credit unions, as cooperative financial institutions, have been bringing financial well-being to millions from their get go. In other words, many aspects of ESG come naturally to credit unions.

Why? It’s simply in the credit union DNA. The ownership and governance structures of credit unions—owned and governed by the member-customers, not by a remote body of stockholders—naturally leads to the company taking better care of the people it serves than a for-profit financial institution. It always has.

So here’s the take aways for credit unions:

  • In a world that increasingly demands proof, it would be prudent for credit unions to carefully document the many ways they make the world a better place, even if they don’t fully embrace ESG.
  • When seeking for new employees, credit unions could gain a leg-up by emphasizing their cooperative structure, and how this leads it to more socially responsible actions.

If you’d like to explore ESG more, I’d be happy to talk with you. Reach out any time.