If you have noticed, we have been using ESG and Social Innovation side by side in our communications. You may ask, have they grown to mean the same? And more importantly, how does Dream Impact do ESG and Social Innovation differently?
ESG is known to be mandatory reporting for listed companies and corporate compliance in investing and environmental issues; whereas Social Innovation has been stereotyped as catering to the underprivileged, promoting diversity and inclusion. In this blog post, you will learn that they are not what you think they are – at least not here at Dream Impact.
What is social innovation?
Social innovation has a broad definition. In general, social innovation is known as the process of designing and deploying new solutions to address social and environmental issues. These solutions aim to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities, while contributing to economic development at the same time.
In addition, successful social innovation relies on the collaboration and cooperation between public, non-profit and private organizations. By co-creation and mutual implementation of innovative solutions, we can effectively address social and environmental issues for social progress to be made. These new products and services should be innovative in terms of ideas, intended beneficiaries, implementation and perception. (You may refer to the detailed evaluation criteria at the end of this article)
How does Dream Impact approach social innovation?
As we’ve mentioned, social innovation has a broad definition – and everyone seems to have a different idea. At Dream Impact, we value measurable and intentional impact. That’s why, we come up with 8 Impact Themes, dedicated a certain period of time every year for each theme. We create and grow our impact through building meaningful connections and facilitating cross-sector collaborations for and with our partners.
So, what does social innovation have to do with ESG?
Now, imagine you’re driving through a tunnel. The other side of the tunnel symbolizes the bright future of a prosperous, healthy and sustainable ecosystem that works for everyone. ESG is the midpoint.
To be precise, ESG is a framework for organizations to document their environmental and social impacts in a given period of time. In other words, ESG disclosures help stakeholders to understand how an organization manages risks and opportunities on sustainability issues.
To reach the end of the tunnel, organizations can reflect on their ESG data to strengthen their operation with cost-effective solutions. Equally importantly, they can address social and environmental issues together – the attempt to develop solutions is called social innovation.
How does Dream Impact approach ESG?
At Dream Impact, we believe that ESG is more than just a report for organizations to demonstrate compliance with regulators or meet stakeholders’ demands. Above all, ESG report is a tool for organizations to devise their ESG strategies. They will help organizations develop ethical business practices and create sustainable products and services.
To lead by example, we published our first sustainability report in June 2022. This report outlined our sustainability strategy with ambitious goals such as becoming net-zero by 2025.
As the leading social innovation hub in Hong Kong, we regularly engage our partners to showcase different social innovation solutions for potential clients to experience. During our 5th anniversary celebration, we organized Dream Wave Expo and Business Matching to showcase our partners’ impactful E, S and G solutions for Hong Kong’s impact ecosystem players.
We also believe that wellness is at the core of any ESG strategy. Our Experiential ESG Training Day speaks for itself – we took the conversation about ESG out from the cold conference room, to the beautiful nature of Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, a place where we can holistically approach the many facets of our body, mind, spirit, society, and planet. There, participants see ESG in action, from circular economy and renewable energy, to DE&I and building a team culture for ESG.
Okay, ESG sounds great. But why should you care?
Because frankly, sound ESG practices bring economic benefits to organizations. By putting a brake on harmful practices and protecting and creating values through business and societal transformation, it gives the organizations a competitive advantage.
However, the challenge is to partner with like-minded organizations for one-stop, comprehensive ESG services, from reporting to the seamless integration and implementation of specific E, S, and G solutions. With 130+ partners from 8 impact themes, our partners work closely with us to offer innovative products and services to strengthen ESG performances.
That’s not all. In order to create measurable and intentional impact, we develop impact measurement frameworks to collect relevant social data for quantification, ensuring high-quality and reliable reporting. At Dream Impact, we are committed to social impact measurement by creating an impact measurement framework based on the 8 impact themes.
With a good impact measurement exercise in place, organisations can then hold productive discussions with their stakeholders to stimulate creativity and actions. From there, a successful social innovation case study is not far from sight.
Dream Impact offers comprehensive ESG consultancy services, from reporting to solution implementation. Schedule a free appointment with us to know more.
|Evaluation criteria||Questions for evaluation|
|Ideas||Can it address new societal and environmental challenges?|
Is it a new solution?
Does it target intended beneficiaries currently receiving little attention?
Any track record in implementation?
|Intended beneficiaries||Are the intended beneficiaries involved in the solution?|
How do the intended beneficiaries benefit from the solution?
Can the new solution promote the potential of the intended beneficiaries?
How will the new solution share the public perception of the intended beneficiaries?
|Implementation||Does the implementation lead to any breakthroughs in the operation of the stakeholders?|
How effective is social innovation from sound impact measurement exercises?
Do the solutions lead to any impactful changes such as reframing the issues to be addressed?
Do groups with professional expertise collaborate together?
|Perception||Can the solutions receive wide support from different stakeholders?|
Do the solutions spark interest from other organisations, supporters, and the government?
Can the solutions be deployed in other contexts?