“Genashtim’s Trailblazing ESG Journey to Purposeful Progress and Sustainable Success”
Genashtim, one of the first Certified B CorporationTM and the driving force behind B Market Builder Southeast Asia, is dedicated to upholding ESG principles by providing support and guidance to the companies applying for B Corp certification.
When I first came across the terms ESG and sustainability used on social media and news websites, I was certain it was all about climate change and the prevention of global warming. However, after I delved a bit deeper and did my research, I realized that ESG encompasses so much more.
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. These ESG pillars are a framework used to assess an organization’s business practices and performance on various sustainability, social, and ethical issues.
Adhering to ESG criteria is not only beneficial for the environment and society but it can also help companies drive growth, attract investment, foster innovation, and build trust with stakeholders. Currently, the factors investors deem necessary before investing in a company are whether the business is sustainable for the environment, sustainable for society, and sustainable for its stakeholders.
Continuing from our previous issue where we explored the meaning and importance of ESG investing and ESG certification, this month we will examine Genashtim’s ESG journey and how this social enterprise had instinctively embedded ESG at its core.
The spirit of ESG has always been an inherent part of Genashtim. Thomas Ng, the visionary force behind Genashtim, may not have initially realized it, but he embodied the spirit of doing good through business, as evidenced by his mantra: “Good business is actually business for good,” a sentiment shared by many.
Genashtim’s 3P principles and its adherence to ESG principles
Genashtim came into existence when Thomas, the founder and CEO, witnessed a lack of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. So naturally, from its inception, Genashtim has been one of the most socially and morally responsible companies. Its socially conscious initiatives and commitment to sustainability resulted in Genashtim becoming the second company in Southeast Asia to receive a B Corp certification in 2015.
In an interview with Make the Change: Conversation of Change Podcast, Thomas explains how Genashtim’s triple Bottom line concept of 3Ps ensures sustainability and social responsibility. These 3Ps refer to Profit, People, and Planet.
Thomas was certain from the start that his company would not only be a for-profit organization but also a social enterprise that addresses sustainability and scalability issues.
Genashtim was established as a for-profit social enterprise to have the flexibility to grow and scale. Thomas believes that the more business Genashtim has, the more it will grow and the more it will have the resources to serve the community. If a company is not sustainable, it will have a hard time surviving and as a result, will have limited resources to help the community.
The reason Genashtim came into existence was because Thomas noticed an overwhelming gap in employment opportunities for people with disabilities (PWD). Owing to that, up until 2018, 90% of Genashtim’s workforce comprised PWDs. Around the same time, Genashtim started to hire people from other disadvantaged groups like refugees, women living in oppressed environments, LQBTQAI+ communities, senior citizens, and HIV-positive patients. Currently, almost 70% of Genashtim employees comprise PWDs and 30% belong to other marginalized groups. Genashtim might be one of its kind amongst organizations in the world that have such a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Genashtim is a 100% remote work organization which means it has no physical office. Working remotely means that employees do not have to commute to work and instead use sustainable energy sources in the workspace which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Having a cloud-based office means fully digitalized work operations which results in minimal use of paper or any other waste material that harms the environment.
Therefore, Genashtim’s 3P principle helped accelerate its certification process, and thus, gained its BCorp certification in 2015, just 7 years after its establishment.
Genashtim’s unique workforce and work model has given it a significant position in the global corporate world. Since its certification as a BCorp, Genashtim has constantly received the “Best for the World” award every year among the BCorp members.
Genashtim’s ESG Services:
Although Genashtim has instinctively followed the ESG principles from its conception, the company’s ESG department was formally created in 2020. As Genashtim is the driving force behind B Market Builder Southeast Asia, its ESG department’s role is to actively promote the B Corp movement and provide valuable assistance to companies embarking on their own B Corp certification journey.
In line with promoting ESG principles in the business world, Genashtim also took the initiative to launch the a learning and professional services portal that aims to encourage people and businesses to create a positive impact on the communities around them.
The ESG Business Institute (ESG-BI) is a platform that connects like-minded professionals from around the world who are passionate about integrating ESG into their business principles and advocate for industries and businesses to become “Forces for Good”.
ESG-BI offers multiple courses to help its members get a better understanding of ESG, sustainable practices, and responsible investment. In addition, the institute organizes regular events and webinars to discuss ESG principles as well as any innovation related to enforcing sustainable practices. Genashtim plays an instrumental role in the management of ESG-BI. The CEO of Genashtim, Thomas Ng, is one of the board of directors and the management is run by Genashtim staff members.
Purpose-driven organizations are becoming increasingly attractive to investors, as they prove cost-effective in a world where people are becoming more environmentally conscious and valuing their own self-worth. ESG is no longer regarded as a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have in the modern business landscape.
Genashtim’s journey exemplifies the seamless integration of ESG principles into the fabric of the organization, demonstrating that doing well for the environment and society can be a powerful driver of success. Genashtim, as a for-profit social enterprise, has been striving to do its part as a responsible entity to promote environmental awareness, social responsibility, inclusivity, diversity, and equity in workplaces.
As a pioneer of remote working in the Asia Pacific region, Genashtim’s success has proven that:
- Most knowledge-based jobs can be done effectively from home in the form of remote work.
- Despite being a talented workforce, PWDs have been overlooked for far too long because of prejudice and stereotypes.
The impact Genashtim has had on remote work and employment opportunities for PWDs is invigorating for disadvantaged communities. To drive its mission of offering sustainable employment for marginalized groups, Genashtim has launched JEDI Jobs, a remote job portal where employers can find and recruit talented PWDs and other members of disadvantaged groups. Visit JEDI Jobs to find out more.