To date, few cannabis companies have published ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reports, but many companies boast of their efforts toward environmentally friendly practices and ESG came up several times throughout the conference—with a few speakers (including BDO) speaking specifically on the topic. An interesting angle mentioned involved using ESG as a differentiator in the competitive Canadian market. With so many companies struggling to gain both product and labour market share, being able to differentiate your company is a major issue.
Enter ESG. Statistics show that consumers and employees overwhelmingly prefer to support organizations with a social consciousness and there are many moves cannabis companies can make on this front. Opportunities include environmentally friendly packaging, improved diversity at the management level, and supporting local communities in a tangible manner. Make achievable promises that mean something to your customers, employees, and organization to do well while doing good.
There's so much passion and expertise in Canada's cannabis community and we have a lot to offer medical and recreational consumers, both within our borders and abroad. We look forward to seeing how the industry evolves in the coming years, and certainly to the next Lift & Co. conference.