Environmental sustainability and social development are intertwined for local not-for-profit charity Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC), which has produced its first environmental, social and governance (ESG) report.

PSEC chief executive Sanja Majstorović said that while ESG reporting was commonplace for the corporate world, it was unusual for nonprofit organisations to do it.

“PSEC is leading the field by proactively developing our capacity for ESG reporting. We believe it will encourage organisational excellence across multiple domains. It will keep us accountable to our stakeholders,” she said.

PSEC is a not-for-profit charity, whose mission since 1946 is to improve the lives of children and their whānau, older people, and disabled people. 

PSEC is also committed to protecting the environment, believing that environmental sustainability and social development are intertwined. Kaitiakitanga – Guardianship, is a fundamental PSEC value that refers to safeguarding both people and the environment. The need for a healthy environment is closely related to its vision of communities reaching their potential.

The charity started down the sustainability path in 2020.

In 2021, PSEC reaffirmed its commitment by partnering with Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s Business School to guide its sustainability journey.

Massey academics in the fields of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility helped PSEC to identify the organisation’s environmental priorities and to record the organisation’s environmental impacts, including its estimated carbon footprint (CO2 emissions).

“PSEC is grateful to our colleagues at Massey for their guidance around environmental sustainability and ESG reporting. We look forward to further collaboration to enhance environmental sustainability at PSEC,” said Majstorović.

ESG sustainability is specifically mentioned in PSEC’s Strategic Plan 2030 – Mahere Rautaki 2030, which also outlines the organisation’s guiding principles and provides an explanation of how each is put into practice.

This includes seeking opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The PSEC Board Policy on ESG Sustainability was approved in 2023 and emphasises the Board’s responsibility for incorporating ESG into high-level decision-making. Additionally, in 2023 PSEC adopted its first official management policy on environmental sustainability.

The charity intends to report on ESG measures every two years.

PSEC Sustainability Lead Dr Libby Eaton said they viewed the 2023 ESG report as the charity’s first foray into the ESG world.

“We are grateful to our colleagues at Massey for their guidance and encouragement, and we look forward to working with them as we build on the foundation we have laid.”

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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