As part of the synergy-based cooperation which we have developed with Escarus – TSKB Sustainability Consultancy A.Ş., which is an able affiliate in the field of sustainability, we integrate globally accepted sustainability appgroaches into the business world.
SDG Footprint Assessment Tool
In September 2015, United Nations General Assembly accepted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap to eradicate poverty, protect our planet, tackle inequality and injustice and to be completed by 2030. SDGs which are put into practice in January 1, 2016, are built upon the Millennium Development Goals which were accepted by governments in 2001 and expired in December 2015.
The scale and extent of SDGs are highly wide and the role of the business world for these goals to be achieved is critical. The expectation of the UN Global Compact, the UN initiative for corporate sustainability practices in private sector, from the business world regarding the goals is to abide by the responsible operation methods, creating opportunities to find solutions to societal problems through keeping the innovative and cooperative spirit. In addition, it is known that directing the business world in line with the SDGs yields positive impacts such as creating new business opportunities, increasing the value of corporate sustainability, strengthening the cooperation between stakeholders, following the environmental and social legislation closely.
The SDG Footprint Assessment Tool, which was developed by Escarus, was built by analyzing the 17 SDGs and the related sub-goals defined by United Nations and with the aim of creating a baseline for assessing the existing activities within private sector organizations. In line with this aim, the criteria for the tool was identified through examining the approaches of private sector organizations and international business cooperation, which are in the lead regarding sustainability, with a lens of SDG framework. Within the scope of this criteria, the institutions are assessed and scored as per each individual SDG. During this process, different activities, strategies and data are scrutinized and the actions that aim to go beyond legal responsibilities to contribute to the sustainable development are included in the assessment. At the end of the assessment, the SDG score of an institution is calculated, areas that can be ameliorated are identified and an action plan to improve the SDG performance is presented to institutions.
Sustainability Strategy Development
Different requirements, expectations or targets may be put in place to encourage each organization to take action on sustainability. These parameters are of tremendous importance in setting the sustainability strategy.
Strategic management is a management approach which allows companies to develop the right strategies in order to achieve their goals, to implement these strategies effectively and to monitor the extent to which the foreseen goals are achieved by evaluating the results.
Sustainability strategy, on the other hand, is the roadmap in which a company or organization determines which resources it will use to achieve its goals, what managerial and operational steps it will take and how it will adapt its current activities and business processes to this policy within the framework of its sustainability policy.
In its sustainability strategy work, Escarus determines the current level of the companies or institutions which it works with, as well as the current status of the companies and institutions and the measures which will eliminate the gap between the current situation and the targeted situation, and focuses on putting them into practice. Escarus also applies various methods such as value chain analysis, competition analysis, stakeholder analysis, market analysis and sectoral analysis according to the nature of the business and the scope of the expectations. It offers solutions that differ on the basis of each sector and institution or company in its strategy development studies.
It is crucial that the consulting institutions implement and manage the developed sustainability strategy in a planned manner. The regular monitoring and development of the strategy created by Escarus and put into practice by the consulting institutions should be considered as an important step which will ensure that the sustainable development is permanent.
Stakeholder Analysis and Prioritization
The results of stakeholder analysis are among the most important variables that an institution should consider when determining its sustainability strategy. Analytical studies that will determine the sustainability priorities and perceptions of the institutions' stakeholders are carried out within the scope of stakeholder analysis.
Escarus offers a qualitative perspective as well as a quantitative approach when conducting its stakeholder analysis. The execution of stakeholder analysis projects is divided into two phases; qualitative and quantitative investigation. The use of both methodologies enables the most realistic stakeholder experience story to be achieved. The same conceptual framework is used in both in-depth interview and questionnaire stages in order to ensure the integrity of the analysis. Thus, the qualitative and quantitative investigation sections are handled within a framework that feeds each other.
Escarus uses the questionnaire method in the quantitative investigation stage of the stakeholder analysis, and measures the perception of the institution and its sustainability priorities with the questions it directs. During the qualitative investigation, Escarus reveals the perceptions and attitudes of the target audience through in-depth interviews conducted in their natural work environment.
Sustainability Management Systems
Since sustainability is a concept that affects many different departments and disciplines, it can often be difficult to be owned by and effectively managed within the organization. The Sustainability Management System (SMS) and Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) Projects, which are designed specifically for corporations by Escarus, aim to build sustainability, environmental and social governance as a business model for the corporation and integrate them into all processes of the corporation.
Escarus has provided the SMS and ESMS infrastructure implementation services to many different organizations in Türkiye and abroad since 2011. The main purpose of these projects is to monitor the sustainability performance and to ensure the systematic management of environmental, social/reputational risks. The Sustainability / Environmental and Social Management System aims to directly associate the "economic-environmental-social-managerial" activities - which are independent of each other - of each institution with the corporate strategy and business results. It also aims to internalize the subject within the framework of the corporate culture and to create a strategic sustainability roadmap.
At the point currently reached, the systems referred to as the Sustainability Management System / Environmental and Social Management System have been transformed into integrated systems. These include different various such the measurement of environmental impacts, waste management, carbon emission management, corporate social responsibility projects, working conditions, training, stakeholder communication and sustainability reporting infrastructure, in addition to the corporate governance organization and the development of policies and commitments.
The SMS/ESMS project approach undertaken by Escarus is a structure built on fundamental approaches such as different sustainability-themed index methodologies, the ISO 14001, ISO 14064 standards and the Sustainable Development Goals. The basic contents of an effective management system should be designed specific to the dynamics, internal functioning and sensitivities of the organization and should be tailored to the institution. Therefore, the infrastructure established by Escarus is designed in line with customer expectations and in a manner which meets the expectations of the stakeholders which it cooperates with or plans to cooperate with.
While the designed systems are finalized in line with the opinions of the institution, at the same time, the extensive diffusion of the subject within the institution and capacity development are ensured with the training and workshops specially prepared for the institution. In the remote support process, which is an option offered by Escarus, assistance is provided in the internalization of the system within the organization.
Climate Risk Management
With the impacts of climate change being keenly felt, companies are seeking solutions to understand and manage the effects of this change on their strategies, operations and goals.
The Climate Risk Management (CRM) projects, which are designed specifically for institutions by Escarus, aim to design climate change as a business model for companies and integrate it into all processes of the corporation.
Escarus helps companies determine the risks arising from climate change, assessing the possibility and effects of such risks and determining the steps to be taken to prevent them, identifying the financial and non-financial consequences if such risks are realised and integrating the identified risks into the existing management and decision-making processes.
Escarus' CRM project approach is a structure built on different sustainability-themed index methodologies such as the CDP, the TCFD, and Science-Based Targets. The basic content of an effective management system should be designed specifically to the dynamics, internal functioning and sensitivities of the organization and tailored to the institution. For this reason, the infrastructure established by Escarus is designed in line with the expectations of the customer and aims to meet the expectations of the stakeholders which it is either in cooperation with or plans to be in cooperation with.
Sustainable Finance Consultancy
Products and services which integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects into business and investment decisions form the basis of the sustainable finance world. The understanding that new investments and financial instruments provide positive added value to nature, society and people is attracting a growing body of investors. Sustainable finance products also create alternative financing resources for environmental and social development investments. At this point, ensuring that sustainable financing mechanisms and instruments are correctly set up is of strategic importance.
Escarus provides strategic consultancy services to financial institutions and companies in the field of sustainable finance.
The following services are provided in line with the needs and capacity of the institution:
- Analysis of the sustainable finance portfolio
- Green/social/sustainable bond consultancy services (development of bond frameworks with the theme of the SDG, gender equality, water, etc.)
- Second-party opinion services
- Impact reporting
- Designing sustainable finance products and services
- Services for the development of climate finance instruments
Environmental and Social Due Diligence and Monitoring
Technical, environmental and social risks are often elusive and less visible. Less visible or invisible risks arise at different stages of an investment and are often bring significant problems which are difficult to manage. A "Current Situation Assessment" study is carried out by Escarus for various projects by taking into account many factors such as the planned aspects and possible risks during the feasibility stage, the experience and competence of the investor, the expectations of the host country where the investment will be realized and the suitability of the investment's value chain.
This study is very important for the institutions which are lenders or invest in the project, because any the realisation of any technical, environmental and social risk could prevent the project from achieving the expected production and or could even halt production, while causing serious material and or reputational damage to the investor. Any incidence of non-compliance which may occur in any of the processes may cause reputational risk, guarantee risk and/or financial risks which may hinder the repayment of the loan for the lending/investor institutions.
In order to meet these needs, Escarus carries out technical, environmental and social status assessment and monitoring studies at the facilities in the construction or operation phase, with its experience in the sector and its specialised staff. These studies can be prepared in light of both the International Finance Institutions' criteria such as the Equator Principles, the IFC Performance Standards, the European Investment Bank (EIB) Environmental Standards and the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD) Performance Criteria as well as local legislation, depending on the needs and demands.
Energy Efficiency Consulting
Energy efficiency is one of the most effective tools for companies in increasing their profitability and ensuring their financial sustainability. In particular, energy efficiency plays a leading role in today's manufacturing industry by supporting competitiveness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although the scope for increased energy efficiency varies from one industry to another and largely depends on the energy intensity of the processes, there are always opportunities to save energy waiting to be realized in all plants. The extent of this dynamic potential can only be understood by establishing a solid and proper energy management system.
Calculating the financial benefits of some of the energy efficiency measures such as more stringent occupational health and safety, reducing the number of occupational accidents and improved health and comfort conditions presents significant challenges. Still, it is possible to measure the monetary value of some benefits, such as improvements in quality, reductions in operating and maintenance costs, increased labor productivity, reductions in water use or minimization of environmental impacts. This phenomenon reveals that energy efficiency should be considered from a holistic perspective, together with other related issues such as financial sustainability, resource efficiency and environmental risks.
As a company which carries out its activities in light of sustainability principles, Escarus deals with energy efficiency services with an integrated approach. Its reliable competence and verified performance in financial analysis is enriched by its strong sustainability infrastructure. Escarus benefits from the extensive experience of TSKB, Türkiye's first development bank, in evaluating and financing energy efficiency projects. At the same time, it further strengthens this experience with sustainability-related projects and research.
Resource Efficiency Consulting
Escarus offers solutions which allow its customers to manage their resources and operations more efficiently and reduce their costs in different areas. With its holistic approach in the field of resource efficiency, it develops efficiency enhancing solutions which will reduce material and energy needs, encourage recycling and reduce waste.
Escarus evaluates all operations carried out by its customers on an end-to-end basis to assess their long-term success and performance. It contributes to the determination of risks within the scope of resource efficiency, the development of related strategies and the systematic management of resources.
Bringing together the approaches developed on different platforms in the field of resource efficiency and examples of national and international good practices, Escarus offers the most appropriate solutions to support efficiency gains and meet the needs of its customers in the sectors they operate in.
Gender Equality Program Certificate (GEPC)
Gender equality, which refers to the equal participation of women and men in all areas of life in equal measures and equal access to opportunities, is one of the most important concepts in the field of human rights. The business world has an important role in achieving gender equality.
The Gender Equality Program Certificate (GEPC), developed by Escarus, aims to measure gender equality on a corporate scale, to study practices within the scope of company activities, to develop gender equality roadmaps specific to the institutions and to document activities with certificates.
Escarus supports the development of in-house strategies and practices by analyzing the existing activities for gender equality and women's empowerment carried out by institutions throughout the program. Companies which demonstrate their sensitivity to gender equality and women's empowerment in employment throughout their activities and recruitment processes to the national and international public are awarded the Gender Equality Program Certificate (GEPC) at the end of the program. Many customers express a preference for those companies which hold a certificate on gender equality, which helps companies enhance their brand value.
The program’s evaluations are carried out using the Gender Equality Assessment and Evaluation Tool (GEAET) modelled by TSKB and Escarus. The GEAET enables the evaluation of the current status of gender equality practices, which are carried out by intermediary firms, their structuring and the creation of corporate strategies and action plans on gender equality.
Detailed information regarding the GEAET is available from the link at www.escarus.com/ceoda.
As a result of the Gender Equality Evaluation Score calculated within the scope of the program, different types of certificates and the Gender Equality Program Certificate* are issued specifically to companies which achieve certain qualifications.
*The certificates are valid for a period of two years, after which they may be renewed following a review evaluation.
RESEARCH, REPORTING and EDUCATION
Sustainability reporting is the most well-known type of non-financial reporting. The basic steps of sustainability reporting are summarised below.
Determinating the top priority issues for the institution: In order to carry out non-financial reporting which, in contrast to financial reporting, is not subject to legal obligations and standards, it is important for each company to report within their own priority issues. In the process of determining these priority issues, institutions should evaluate all of their activities which are under their control and which have an economic, environmental and social impact, as well as all of their stakeholders which have an impact on them.
Establishment of the prioritization matrix: The identified priority issues should be prioritized between themselves. Stakeholder analysis studies should be conducted in order to rank various issues in order of importance from the perspective of both stakeholders and the company, with one-to-one interviews conducted with company executives, prioritization studies of local and global competitors and an examination of the global conjuncture.
Preparing a sustainability report: Escarus works with business partners who are experts in content and design, and provides support for companies to report in parallel with their communication strategy.
In addition to companies’ current activities, all stakeholders, especially investors, will have an interest in companies’ future plans, their strategies, organization, human resources and, in summary, what kind of business plans they will construct and progress with.
Integrated reporting (IR), which is the newest reporting trend among the international practices created to meet these needs, is a reporting approach which allows institutions to interpret their existing activities and strategies with a future-oriented perspective and to evaluate the capital outputs of their activities with inputs.
In the transition to the integrated reporting process, Escarus provides consultancy services in the following processes;
- Evaluating the internal strategy and mapping the elements of capital with each other and with the corporate strategy,
- Evaluation and revision of the company's business model from an integrated business model perspective,
- Reporting the company's outputs and the direct and indirect effects of these outputs specific to the capital elements.
CDP and Carbon Inventory Reporting
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an initiative where companies report their carbon emissions on a voluntary basis. In addition, companies seek to follow their carbon inventories in order to better manage issues such as investor demands, performance monitoring and management of risks in the value chain.
Within the scope of the annual reporting to the international organization the CDP, companies' strategies for combating climate change, physical/transitional risks and opportunities brought about by climate change, emission reduction and efficiency enhancing practices are publicly reported. Escarus provides reporting consultancy services to companies which plan to report to the CDP for the first time, by guiding them within the scope of their existing activities, goals and strategies. Thanks to its expertise on climate change, Escarus provides support to companies which routinely report to the CDP in shaping their climate change strategies, managing unpredictable climate change risks and opportunities, and examining and improving their carbon inventory.
The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Reporting
The TCFD Recommendations, published by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), are a framework for institutions to report on how they manage their climate change related risks and opportunities.
The recommendations set out in the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), established by the Financial Stability Board of G20 countries, guide institutions in reporting on climate related issues within their mainstream financial reports.
The TCFD Recommendations suggest companies report under four main headings: Governance, Strategy, Risk Management, Metrics and Targets.
Through TCFD reports, companies are expected to convey information to their stakeholders on issues such as the top management's ownership of climate risks (Governance), the reflection of this on corporate strategies (Strategy), management of climate risks to be in harmony with other practices of the institution and the traceability of risks (Risk Management).
Escarus provides reporting consultancy services to the companies which plan to report to the TCFD for the first time, guiding them within the scope of their existing activities, targets and strategies. Thanks to its expertise on climate change, Escarus provides support to companies which routinely report to the TCDF in shaping their strategies for climate risks and opportunities, managing unpredictable climate change risks and opportunities and examining and improving their carbon inventory.
Training Programs and Workshops
Escarus adopts an approach which aims to ensure that the activities it carries out with a focus on sustainability have a permanent impact, which is embedded in the DNA of the institutions it works with and which goes one step further, with an awareness of sustainability that penetrates different layers of society. In this context, Escarus includes training modules in a wide range of projects carried out. To give the training programs an interactive nature, the training programs are organized with a workshop approach when conditions allow, and in a manner which maximizes the contribution of the participants. In addition, one of the activities carried out by Escarus is to provide independent training consultancy designed in line with the demands of the customers and which is in line with their needs. Some of the training programs provided so far are listed below:
- Sustainability: Basic Concepts
- Corporate Sustainability and the SDGs
- Sustainable Finance
- Environmental and Social Risk Management
- Climate Based Risks and Opportunities
- Climate Change Financing
- Energy Markets
- Renewable Energy Investments and Financing
- Energy efficiency
- Resource Efficiency: Opportunities and Applications
- Non-Financial Reporting
- Inclusion and Gender Equality
Aware of its social responsibilities, Escarus also seeks to extend its appeal to young people, who are the most important social layer which will adopt and carry the sustainable life philosophy forward. Escarus organizes sustainability workshops in cooperation with universities.
European Green Deal Research
The European Green Deal (EGD), which was introduced in December 2019 and has had a global impact since its introduction, in other words with the interpretation of the Escarus, “green transformation” is not just a way of thinking or an approach. It represents the search for a new order created by a wide array of tools and policies to effect change to social, environmental and economic systems under an ecosystem-oriented perspective.
The EGD, which is one of the six priority areas determined by the EU economic program for the 2019-2024 period, adopts the Union's goal of "being climate neutral by 2050". It also aims to double economic growth and "leave no one and nowhere behind".
Through the EGD, the EU aims to shape the production, consumption and trade models of the future by defining transformation strategies in climate targets, the circular economy, net zero, sustainable and smart mobility, biodiversity, renovation wave, sustainable agriculture, clean and reliable energy and many other issues.
In the EU, which will undergo a comprehensive transformation with the Climate Law, "the Package of Adaptation to 55", which targets a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030, was shared with the general public in July 2021. In our country, the "European Green Deal Action Plan" was published on 16 July 2021.
Various studies have been carried out by Escarus in order to better understand the EGD, the EU’s new growth strategy, to reveal its importance for Türkiye and to inform the relevant actors, especially the industrial sector. Consultancy services are provided for the preparation of company based compliance plans and the analysis of the current situation by taking into account the policy changes and action steps foreseen in the upcoming period.
Tailored Research Reports
In line with the needs of customers, Escarus is able to prepare various reports related to its field of expertise. Examples include examining global trends in certain themes, evaluating the position of any company in the value chain in the context of sustainability strategies, conducting theme specific analyzes on a sector and sub-sector basis and contributing content to policy documents prepared by public institutions and organizations.