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Living Values: Interview with Susan Grover on the Importance of an ESG Program

Anaqua Receives award from Astorg for ESG Program
Tags: ESG

Susan Grover, Vice President of Human Resources, shares about Anaqua’s recent Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Award from its global private equity company Astorg, the reasons why companies should consider implementing an ESG program, and how companies can approach creating an ESG program that’s fit for their business.

What meaning does your main shareholder award hold for Anaqua? (In other words, what does this award mean to us at Anaqua?)

We are very proud to receive the 2021 ESG award from Astorg. It reflects the importance we as a company place on sustainability, equity, and responsible business practices, and the good work we are doing in these areas. Receiving Astorg’s ESG award recognizes our ongoing efforts across all three of these pillars and directly aligns with our core values of collaboration, diversity, agility, passion, and innovation. As VP of Human Resources, I believe it’s essential that our culture and work environment continue to mirror these values. Employees joining Anaqua can expect to work in a global environment, partnering and working with teams from around the world. We are fast-paced, love what we do, and strive to lead the way in our industry.

For which reasons did you receive the award?

Every year, private equity firm Astorg presents the ESG Award to a portfolio company making significant achievements in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) matters and demonstrates the highest commitment to Astorg’s ESG program.

Astorg presented the 2021 ESG Award to Anaqua for its achievements in gender diversity - with women in 40% of senior executive positions at the company; ethics - for rolling out an ethics program incorporating a code of conduct policy and training; and sustainability - for being the first software company in Astorg’s portfolio to calculate its carbon emissions for direct and indirect emissions and earning a Silver Medal Status with EcoVadis for ESG performance.

What does such an award mean for your customers?

Employing an ESG program fosters an enriched, innovative, collaborative, and supportive work environment – a key component to a successful future. At Anaqua, we expect and encourage different viewpoints and experiences to enable our team to see the world more clearly and embrace the opportunities around us. This is important to us, especially as a global company, to live out these values as we continue to collaborate with our client community across the world. For our customers, we hope this designation is another symbol of our ongoing efforts as we work towards a better future together.

What can a software company like yours do to further promote the ESG criteria?

As a software company we are uniquely positioned to help our clients transform their intellectual property operations to be paperless, remote, and secure.  As we have seen from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies need to be flexible and embrace digital operating models to adapt to changing conditions. This operating model has the added benefit of reducing emissions and paper waste. Securing customer data is an often-overlooked criterion within ESG that we take extremely seriously. By offering our customers a secure, hosted solution they know they are doing everything they can to protect critical and confidential data.

For ourselves as a company, we strive to lead by example and live our core values both in and out of the office, we continue promoting ESG values. We hope this external recognition through the award, and communicating our programs and growth across ESG spreads further awareness. I would also offer Anaqua as an accessible resource to other software companies looking to improve the outcomes of their ESG programs.

Finally, we think it’s important for not just other software companies, but all companies to identify the appropriate ESG criteria for their industry and their individual company. My advice would be similar to our internal Objectives and Key Results goal-setting process: identify three or four measurable ESG criteria that are tangible to your business and constituencies, and that are aligned to your company’s overall strategy and/or mission statement. Then track your progress against those measures and hold yourselves accountable. You won’t get it right the first time but keep making improvements each quarter. There are many studies that show ESG programs help companies reduce risk, enhance returns, and importantly, better benefit society as a whole – all good reasons to consider what type of ESG program is right for your business.