CARENCRO, La. – September 24, 2021 – OMNI CFO Geoff Jones was a keynote speaker at the Private Directors Association Houston chapter’s ESG symposium, ESG: A Board’s Perspective. Members of boards of directors from a cross section of organizations attended the hybrid event, held virtually and in-person, in Houston.
Board members have a vital role in assessing an organization’s environmental, social and governance standards. They need to understand how to approach ESG, integrate it into their risk oversight and work with management to formulate a road map for the future. As CFO at OMNI Environmental Solutions, Jones worked with OMNI’s board and senior management team to craft OMNI’s ESG strategy. He gained valuable insight and experience in the process.
In his PDA presentation titled, Embracing ESG, Jones, provided a historical timeline of global crises leading up to the present-day ESG movement, and gave an overview of OMNI’s journey to ESG.
“Geoff’s presentation was very well developed,” OMNI CEO Courtney Brackin said. “He delved into a 500-year evolution of world conditions leading up to what we now call ESG. In the course of his discussion, he did a great job of portraying OMNI’s RISE values.”
Life before ESG
Jones’ examination of bleak societal challenges throughout time, included:
- Global 19th century environmental challenges that led to widespread illness and death, including waterways polluted by human and industrial waste and “Big Smoke” industrial cities polluted by coal expansion.
- Social ills dating back to the 1500s, including 17th century child chimney sweeps (impoverished boys, under age 5, who were sent up the narrow chimneys of British homes to scrape soot), harsh, inhumane workhouses for the poor, and slavery.
- Malicious governance, including unscrupulous 19th century corporate industrialists who amassed fortunes as poor workers endured hazardous, unsanitary working conditions, long work days and low wages.
“But yet over the years, decades and centuries — long before there was an ESG label, progress has resulted in substantial improvements to, or elimination of, these examples,” Jones said. “Accelerated progress started in the mid-1800s and continues ramping exponentially today.”
As examples of this, Jones cited reforms ranging from indoor plumbing and sewer systems, to federal regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality, the abolition of slavery, 20th century child labor laws and anti-trust laws.
“My point is that while the ESG label is new, the goals of the ESG movement have been ongoing for years and years.”
In the second part of the presentation, Jones provided a case study of OMNI’s embracement of ESG and the formation of OMNI’s ESG policy. He presented a roadmap for organizations still considering ESG strategies.
“OMNI engages at all levels and has embedded ESG in our culture — it’s part of the natural evolution of business that’s been going on for a long while — and it’s a process,” he said.
About OMNI Environmental Solutions
OMNI is a leading provider of comprehensive environmental waste, water management and logistics solutions in all major U.S. energy plays. For more information, please visit www.omnienvironmentalsolutions.com.