This blog post was created in partnership with Fortuna Entertainment Group and includes paid promotion.
Eva Proksova has had a unique career path. After her university studies, she joined law enforcement in the service for the citizens of the Czech Republic and later on, for several years, she served in peacekeeping operations abroad – international missions aimed at monitoring and developing the conflict or post-conflict areas. Her last deployment in Donbas, Ukraine, was terminated by the outburst of the currently ongoing war. As part of her tasks in the missions covered ESG issues, she decided to continue in this path and currently participates in corporate sustainability as an ESG HR Specialist in Fortuna Entertainment Group. In this interview, we explore the topic of ESG a bit further.
Why did you choose to work as an ESG responsible in a company and what is your background?
In fact, my life is a combination of factors that come together in ESG: thanks to my family and the environment I grew up in, I have always been strongly connected to nature and natural resources, the protection of which resonated throughout my childhood and adolescence. Naturally, as an adult, I was very interested in this subject, although I had professionally moved away from it for a while. Through my studies, I had the opportunity to get into the field of social pedagogy, psychology, sociology and social work, which was also a great help for my position as an investigator in the criminal police. There, I gained experience in the field of "governance", which I fully developed during my time in peacekeeping missions. Especially the mission in Georgia gave me room for the development of the combination Enviro+ Socio+ Governance. Unfortunately, I cannot speak publicly about the specific operations of the mission, but I have gained the knowledge and skills to feel confident to apply for the position of ESG Specialist in Fortuna Entertainment Group.
Why is ESG important for a company?
ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria are important for investors to assess a company and determine if it is worth investing in. So, the company needs to present its ESG outcomes to become sustainable and resilient.
What are the elements of ESG?
As already mentioned, ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance criteria of corporate sustainability; it means the framework to evaluate issues related to a company’s long-term health and prosperity. Environmental standards look at a company’s environmental impact and its influence on the area it operates in. Social standards include the relationship with employees, suppliers, customers, and the wider community. Governance ones cover the company’s leadership, executive pay, shareholder rights, audits, internal controls etc.
Every company should develop its own ESG strategy, which reflects the business it operates in and the company vision and specific goals.
How can an ESG policy help society in general?
At FEG, I focus on the Enviro and Socio ESG areas. Our corporate responsibility towards the environment, communities and our employees drives me to implement our ESG strategy. I see it as a win-win situation: by investing our attention and resources in these areas, we contribute to the protection of the environment, the development of communities and society, and the satisfaction of our employees. At the same time, we are contributing to the sustainability of the company in the long term. Finding a balance between these two poles of ESG is a big challenge for me.
Furthermore, our responsibility towards our customers and stakeholders (the governance part of ESG) keeps our customer platform healthy and our business resilient to sustainably participate in the economy and prosperity, including creating new job opportunities and paying taxes to state budgets.
Is there a hierarchy, what is the most important thing among the 3 areas discussed (Environmental, Social and Governance)?
It depends on what company we are talking about. A manufacturing company that emits pollutants into the air from its production processes or produces hazardous waste will naturally have an ESG policy focusing more on the environmental pillar than a service company without a significant environmental impact. On the other hand, FEG, as a gaming company, has to pay considerable attention to compliance, self-regulation and customer protection. Therefore, the governance pillar is far more important to us than the environmental one. It does not mean that we are not committed to the company's environmental policy. We aim to reduce our carbon footprint and protect natural resources by, for example, reducing the amount of paper we use in our offices and retail shops.
The social pillar is, in my view, a constant in the ESG of any company. Regardless of the company's focus, it simply won't become sustainable if you don't invest in its employees, their well-being, development, motivation and engagement. Every company should be concerned about the well-being of the communities in which it operates. It is not just about potential customers, employees or stakeholders, but above all, about the natural symbiosis of life and business. If I am gaining from society (profit), then it is natural that I am also giving back to it. It is the only way to maintain the natural balance between the economic sector and society.
How is ESG different from CSR?
Both terms belong under the same sustainability umbrella. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a framework of sustainability plans and responsible cultural influence used by a company, while ESG is a measurable outcome concerning a company’s overall sustainability performance used by investors. ESG criteria are important for investors to assess a company and determine if they are worth investing in.
Why should the employees of a company care if the company has a ESG policy and activities or not?
Let’s make it simple: Don’t we want our company to operate and prosper? Don’t we want it to be successful in the market? Don’t we want it to behave sustainably towards the environment and society? If we do, we should work for it. If we really do care, the ESG is part of it. This is the vision Fortuna Entertainment Group strives for, as well.