ESG & Sustainability Management

ESG and sustainability management is future-oriented business management. Manage your company’s impact in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance factors with a customized strategy that suits your needs.

Take your sustainability performance to the next level

From improving your ESG performance to an impactful sustainability strategy for your business – we know how to get you there.

What is the difference between ESG and sustainability management?

The terms ESG and Sustainability Management both have to do with corporate sustainability. They are often used interchangeably. The same applies to the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which has recently moved somewhat into the background. However, there are a few differences you need to know.

Related topics:

Environmental, Social & Governance – the 3 pillars of ESG

ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance. The three pillars of ESG show how sustainably a company operates in these three dimensions:


It’s all about the sustainable management of natural resources and preserving the ecosystem. This pillar covers decarbonization measures, as well as questions of energy and water consumption or activities for supporting biodiversity or improving the circularity of your business processes.


The goal is to make socially valuable contributions to the people who operate along your value chain. In addition to addressing the needs of their employees, companies are also asked to engage with their suppliers, communities and stakeholders.


Leadership, internal structures and processes are important for a green business, keeping an anti-corruption policy and an ethical business culture in mind. After all, it now also depends on how an organization is managed.

Sustainability & ESG: One and the same?

Although there are tendencies to use ESG and sustainability management interchangeably, there are differences in perspectives. ESG is more focused on financial risks and returns opportunities in terms of sustainable investing. An ESG rating provides information on the sustainability performance and potential risks of your business. Improving ESG scores is what many companies strive for. As ESG investing plays an increasingly important role, a good ESG score leads to more opportunities in the capital market. Sustainability Management comprises activities and strategies to actively manage the impacts of a company. Materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement are common approaches to sustainability management, as are data management, setting indicators, and sustainability reporting.

Why companies should embrace ESG

ESG reporting is important for investors, but also for customers, employees, society, and strategic decisions in general. Therefore, it’s important to understand ESG criteria. What’s more: with an ESG strategy, you do not leave your score to chance.

Share your current business challenges or goals with us – we take care of the rest!

ESG & sustainability management services

We support you in developing your business while considering additional chances and risks from the environment and society.

Developing the ability to do so requires you to know:

Being aware of these elements, you can develop new business strategies and prepare your company for the economy of the future. Our denkstatt consulting services can help you to sustainably transform your company.

Sustainability strategy

Make your company fit for regulatory, societal, environmental, and market-related changes
Creating sustainability strategies and action plans is one of our core services. We support your company in developing tailored sustainability programs and related initiatives. For this, we build on our well-established management tools in sustainability and ESG reporting as well as a rich and holistic understanding of the internationally recognized standards. We consider market trends and develop your vision of your organization in the future.
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Risk and opportunity management

Because what is known today might be different in the future
We cover the entire spectrum along the cycle - from identifying, analyzing, and evaluating to monitoring and responding to actual and potential sustainability-related risks and opportunities. With our tools and experience, we advise you on emerging challenges and help you to respond. We consider market risks, losses, and damage to assets due to climate change and societal change. Direct and indirect risks along the value chain as well as for specific business sectors are also included in our work. Our risk management activities provide you with sustainable insights for future challenges.

Sustainability accounting

Monetize the natural and social capital impacts of your business
Sustainability accounting shows the true impact of your business on the environment and society by monetizing natural and social capital. It provides tangible results, which serve as a clear basis for ESG reporting. We also help you to figure out how your business activities contribute to sustainability and how investing in nature and people can even support your business goals.
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Biodiversity management

Tackle your biodiversity management the smart way
Biodiversity is expected to be the next big topic after climate change. Therefore, it has reached the business world. Our denkstatt experts offer a variety of services to help your business implement biodiversity management as a part of your sustainability strategy. Biodiversity workshops and baseline assessments and working on complex strategies and action plans are just a couple of our service portfolios.
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Double Materiality Assessment

Find out the most relevant key factors for your company to target issues directly
A materiality assessment allows organizations to identify the sustainability matters that are most important to their business and its value chain. A matter can be material from an impact perspective and/or from a financial perspective. Together with stakeholders' input, these dimensions determine an organization's material matters, which then become key elements of sustainability reporting and management.
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ESG ratings

Become more attractive for investors by picking an ESG rating provider
When assessing the risks involved in investments, not only the financial but also the sustainability performance of a company needs to be considered. ESG rating providers measure how well a company manages its environmental, social and governance challenges. Be it ISS, CDP, Ecovadis or MSCI – they all have their own criteria, branch classification and rating systems. At denkstatt we help you to find the suitable ESG rating provider for your audience, respond to the questionnaires efficiently, and organize the internal evidence document research so that you have a safe and sound process for your upcoming ESG reports in place.

Stakeholder management and CSR communication

Get in touch and understand your stakeholder’s perspective
Conducting a stakeholder dialogue or survey means involving internal and external stakeholders to get their opinion on different sustainability topics relevant to your business. Engaging in dialogue with key stakeholders can be very beneficial for a company as it wins important advocates. In addition to that, stakeholder dialogue results are an important add-on when analyzing the sustainability topics of your business. Our experts can provide and accompany online surveys, interviews, focus groups, round table talks and scenarios within different timelines and many other online or in-person formats.

Indicator and data management

Get a comprehensive set of quantitative indicators to set up strategic sustainability management
In order to set up a good reporting system and sustainability management, a comprehensive set of quantitative indicators is required. They give sustainability a tangible meaning, help your organization in setting sound goals, and track your performance towards them. With our support, you can set up the right process to manage your data, identify the right indicators and select a data management or software solution that is fit for the future of your enterprise.

Reach out to our expert to find a solution that suits your company!

Amira Zauchner

International Service Lead CSRD, Associate Manager ESG Strategy & Supply Chain

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Your benefits

Meet increasing client and stakeholder expectations by conducting a continuously improving, long-term oriented, professional sustainability strategy with a self-confident standpoint on what to focus on and what not. The goals, action plans and measurable indicators developed in a sustainability framework help you to achieve:

  • Establishment of solid and state-of-the-art sustainability management
  • Sustainability reports according to international standards (GRI, CSRD, etc.) and improved stakeholder communication
  • Meeting the expectations of your stakeholders, incl. clients
  • Actively pursue legal compliance
  • Robust ESG risk management
  • Positive signals for investors through improved ESG ratings
  • Increase your access to credit capital
  • Increase customer satisfaction and image
  • Enhanced brand value and employer branding


Frequently asked questions on ESG

An ESG score is an evaluation of a company’s performance. This applies to the three areas of environmental, social, and governance. The ESG score is an important source of information for investors and other stakeholders of a company. Therefore, it is strongly connected with sustainable finance. Most ESG ratings give a range from 0-100 – the higher the ESG score, the better the ESG rating result.

ESG reporting is the publication of a company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impacts. ESG funds are portfolios of stocks or bonds that take environmental, social and governance factors into account.

A materiality analysis is a precondition for ESG reporting according to recognized reporting standards (CSRD, GRI, etc). Moreover, it is a sound instrument for prioritizing sustainability topics in an analytical manner, which can then be justified internally as well as externally. Combined with other analyses a materiality analysis can serve as a basis for developing a sustainability strategy. Therefore, materiality analysis takes into account which sustainability topics are most relevant in terms of sustainability impact (impact of the organization on society and the environment), business impact (sustainability-related risks and opportunities for the organization) as well as inputs from an internal and external stakeholder perspective.

Materiality assessment should not be seen as a one-off exercise. By carrying it out regularly, it is possible to make comparisons and recognize changing trends. The materiality assessment should therefore be seen as a continuous process with ongoing updates and reviews.

Based on the global risk report 2022, the most severe risks on a global scale over a period of 10 years are related to environmental challenges (climate action failure, extreme weather, and loss of biodiversity) as well as societal challenges (erosion of social cohesion, livelihood crises). Economic risks such as a debt crisis are only ranked 9th.

It is not possible to find a general answer to this question, as many factors such as company size, business model, organization and corporate culture play a role. In any case, it is important to consider sustainability management as a cross-cutting issue that affects the company as a whole, with the need for direct contact with decision-makers and top management. We are happy to advise you on such decisions and establish effective sustainability management in the company.

Effective sustainability management requires the collection of quantitative data to have a sound basis for decision-making and to be able to measure one’s progress. If there are no existing systems for collecting sustainability data, we will be happy to help you set one up and find a suitable software solution.

There are common questions that companies may have when it comes to sustainability and ESG. We work with you to positively contribute to communities locally as well as along your value chain and act in unison with the natural environment by sufficiently answering questions like:

  • Value: How do we create value and for whom?
  • Impact: What are the main impacts on people and the planet of our business activities? What opportunities and risks do we face?
  • Contribution: How does our business contribute to transforming local and global markets sustainably?
  • Strategy: How does our business strategy need be to reshaped to fit current and future needs and to demonstrate our contribution to a sustainable future?
  • Analysis: How good is the sustainability performance of our competitors and frontrunning companies? How can we position ourselves?

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