The food industry is increasingly coming under scrutiny and facing pressure to improve its practices to become more sustainable. For Ingredion, a Fortune 500 ingredient solutions company serving the food, beverage, paper, brewing, and other industries, sustainability goes beyond checking boxes and appeasing external forces.
As Vice President of Corporate Sustainability, Brian Nash helps establish the ESG strategy for the organization. This means making sure it resonates with the expectations of stakeholders and working with teams across the organization — such as operations, finance, human resources, procurement, innovation, sales, and more — to ensure all areas of the company are aligned with the strategy and initiatives. “The goal is to have sustainability baked into our DNA,” he says.
With this goal, the company established two groups. The ESG Executive Advisory Committee, made up of members of Ingredion’s executive team, focuses on the broader ESG strategy and long-term planning. The Global Sustainability Council is made up of functional and regional leads and guides the organization in the execution of ESG initiatives across the business.
The most material ESG issues for Ingredion center around climate change, sustainable water management, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, innovation, and human rights across the supply chain. These are all broad topics in constant evolution as different countries and regulating bodies have diverse requirements.
The ESG Landscape: Trends and Standards Monitor
The latest trends and issues in the global ESG landscape
The Challenge: Staying on Top of a Shifting ESG Landscape
A vital part of Nash’s role is staying abreast and ahead of that fast-moving and shifting landscape: the latest trends, news, and industry standards in the global ESG landscape.
“The challenge for us was, how do we stay on top of all those changes and what's coming down the pipeline? As much as we tried to carve out time to read up on the ever-changing landscape, it was a losing battle,” he says.
His concern wasn’t about missing important developments. Between industry associations and stakeholders, the team hears about developments either way. “The question is, can you pick it up in a timely manner so it's actionable? Or does it become another fire that you have to put out?” Nash says. “We needed something to give us a succinct overview of what's coming and, at the very least, point us in the right direction if we needed to go find more information.”
The Solution: the FiscalNote ESG Monitor
Nash and his team found the perfect solution in the FiscalNote ESG Monitor Service, a monthly comprehensive report that summarizes and analyzes evolving ESG issues from around the globe with insights from our experts from Oxford Analytica, EU Issue Tracker, CQ, and FiscalNote Professional Services. The report provides insight into industry trends, latest news, and frameworks and standards monitoring across the ESG landscape.
“It makes it easier to pinpoint what the trends are and identify the topics that we need to monitor,” says Nash. “The great news about the ESG Monitor report is I'm not the only one getting it; it's also other functions like government affairs, our operations group, and our environmental group. Members of the Global Sustainability Council are also seeing it, which means that the topics that maybe aren't as critical to me but are important to them are still getting identified.”
Insights from the FiscalNote ESG Monitor Service allow Ingredion’s leaders to learn about ESG developments as they happen, have enough time to absorb them, and turn trends and upcoming requirements into opportunities to act. “Knowing about it ahead of time and being able to take action means that not only are we putting our company in the right position, but we're in a position to help our customers who are also dealing with some of the same issues.”
The FiscalNote ESG Monitor Service also includes quarterly calls with experts in the field to help Ingredion tailor its ESG strategies and response.
“What was really great about that call is that, sometimes investors ask us about different topics or the same topics from a slightly different lens. We used that call to help us understand what is really important in the investment community and how our current communications are aligned with expectations on the information we report,” says Nash. “That was really helpful in getting more clarity around what's coming out of the investment community.”
The 2030 All-Life Plan & Annual Reports
Ingredion’s 2030 All-Life Plan is a 10-year sustainability plan launched in 2020 as an update to the organization’s previous strategy. It's designed to push Ingredion in a direction that will make it an even more sustainable company and a more competitive supplier, aligning with external benchmarks such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SASB, and the Global Reporting Initiative.
Looking at the trends from the ESG Monitor report is a way we can keep our finger on the pulse on what's coming, and compare that against our roadmapBrian Nash, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability
But the ESG world moves at a high pace and a lot can change in 10 years, so Nash uses the FiscalNote ESG Monitor to keep the 2030 All-Life Plan — and its timelines — current, informed, and relevant.
“Looking at the trends from the ESG Monitor report is a way we can keep our finger on the pulse on what's coming, and compare that against our All Life plan roadmap,” he says.
Similarly, Nash’s team relies on the FiscalNote ESG Monitor Service for Ingredion’s annual sustainability report. The Monitor helps them identify and understand any critical topics or trends, particularly for investors.
“For example, in 2021 we saw investor interest in TCFD (Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure) surpass that in SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board). We were able to respond by putting a TCFD index in our sustainability report,” he says. “Understanding what those trends are, then helps us enhance our communication.”
Baking ESG Into Ingredion’s DNA
By leveraging the FiscalNote ESG Monitor Service and turning it into actionable intelligence, Ingredion is working toward truly transforming the organization’s DNA to have a strong sustainability focus across all of its departments.
“I think the tool is fantastic. It's easy to navigate, it's not hard to figure out how things are laid out, and all I have to do is commit to reading a couple dozen pages and I'm up to speed, so it's fantastic for me,” Nash says. “I definitely feel more confident when I go to an executive or board meeting that I’ll be able to speak to current trends or regulations. And if I do get asked about a topic that wasn’t on the major trends list, at least I have a comfort level that it’s either not a major consideration or a very new topic.”
Getting the ESG Intelligence You Need
Industry expertise paired with reports on emerging trends in ESG, all in one place. FiscalNote ESG Solutions provides a monthly comprehensive report on the latest trends and issues in the global ESG landscape along with quarterly calls with experts in the field to help you tailor your ESG strategies and response.
Leveraging the expertise of our in-house geopolitical analysts, we summarize and analyze the evolving ESG trends from around the globe most likely to impact your organization. Our in-depth report provides analysis and insight into industry trends, latest news, and standards monitoring across the ESG landscape.
ESG and Sustainability Made Easy
Learn more about how FiscalNote's suite of products can help you stay ahead of the latest ESG developments, disclosure, sustainability reporting, and climate risk management.