Riddle us this: what comes first, the E, the S or the G?

The answer of course is the E. Wait, maybe it’s the S. It might just be the G when you really think about it.

Precisely.

No one agrees as to how one leads to the others, but everyone agrees the three common factors of measuring sustainability—environmental impact, social responsibility and corporate governance—are sure to be part of doing business this year, next year and beyond.

But that’s only if you want investors to like you, customers to choose you, other companies to work with you, and politicians to, well, leave you alone.

Just kidding, we know that last one will never happen.

But ESG is happening. Have you listened to an oil and gas company’s earnings call lately? ESG reporting has moved from an afterthought at the end to a highlight at the beginning. Companies large and small—operators and service providers—are releasing separate sus­tainability reports in more frequency.

All kidding aside, it is important to focus on all three of the aspects because there is no one answer or method to getting there. At this point, there is not any consensus on ratings or defined measurements. It all depends on whom you are talking to in the moment.

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