11 May 2023
Our ESG Journey
Therese Flapper, our Canberra region GM and ESG lead, discusses our ESG journey.
What is ESG?
ESG, or ‘Environment, Social and Governance’ is a concept you’re likely hearing a lot about at the moment, and for me, I have spent the last 18 months considering, planning and embedding principles of ESG at TSA. It is a task I have taken very seriously.
In October 2021, Andrew Wilson, TSA’s CEO, entrusted me with the task of investigating what ESG might mean for TSA. I was empowered to explore, invent and develop ESG principles across our growing and diversifying business in practical and genuine terms. TSA is known for ‘doing and being what we say’ and authenticity was critical to how we embraced ESG – inside our organisation as well as across our portfolio of built environment projects.
How did we go about developing our roadmap?
We started with 4 ESG Executive Committee members and 6 ESG representatives across our locations. We evolved our environment and social initiatives from the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) program into our ESG space and created an independently verifiable and quantifiable ESG program of impact.
We researched ESG and professional services firms as well as some of our client organisations. We reviewed several ESG reporting frameworks to meet our commitment to authenticity and to position ourselves for future independent assessment. We read company sustainability reports and continue to monitor ever-evolving ESG standards and certification schemes.
In April 2022 we launched our ESG Strategy which set our ‘why’ and ‘what’, and how we would get there (involving 4 stages and 10 steps). The stages – Commit, Develop, Embed, and Evolve recognise that ESG is, and must be, a journey. One that will take time, ebb and flow as the business evolves, and acknowledges that in order to be genuine, we must take the time to get the foundations and fundamentals right.
What have we implemented?
During 2022, we implemented 4 key pillars:
- our ESG Strategy
- the TSA Ethics and Integrity Committee and Terms of Reference
- our Carbon Policy and external carbon certification
- our commitment to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework
What is GRI?
GRI is our choice of cornerstone ESG Reporting, against which we are looking to be independently assessed later in 2023. The GRI Standards and approach allows us to assess and commit action to areas where we have a material impact, as well as having a choice over when and how we mitigate our greatest material impacts. We can choose the right journey for us at the right time, and in the right way.
GRI also allows us to flex across ESG ‘in our business’ and ESG ‘in our portfolio’. With more than $200B of projects under TSA management, the ability to continuously extend ESG across this portfolio will grow the positive impact and legacy we can have.
I liken ESG to the development and commercialisation of any good product – have a vision, know a bit about where you want to head, be genuine as to why you want to do it – and then just start the journey!