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Integrated ESG approach

The Integrated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Approach project aims to set ESG assessment criteria

The Integrated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Approach project aims to set ESG assessment criteria and proposes an approach that will address sustainability in the food supply chain from a holistic perspective.

The food and beverage sector faces major challenges, not least the need to produce more food for a growing population, while doing this in a safe and sustainable way. Organisations are being driven by increasing compliance and reporting needs, surging capital allocation following ESG principles, and increasing demands for transparency by customers and consumers. Most of the efforts to introduce new regulations are focused on the ESG dimensions as independent spheres. In addition, companies are mainly focusing on environmental sustainability by assessing carbon footprint and underestimating the relevance of the Social and Governance aspects.

Sustainability assessment framework 


Within the Integrated ESG approach concept, rather than looking at each of the three elements of ESG in isolation, the aim is to develop a sustainability assessment framework, a means to evaluate the sustainability of a product, a company, or a complete supply chain by considering all three dimensions and their interconnections as a whole. 

The project centres on footprint management which is one of the four focus areas in the new R&D program sustainable food systems and supply chains. The approach is based on the key characteristics of adaptability, modularity and flexibility, so that the resulting assessment framework can meet the needs of multiple stakeholders. 

The Integrated ESG approach also relates to the clear definition, measurement, verification and validation of relevant data flows and processes, and supports stakeholder commitment towards sustainable operations and the UN SDG targets. 

Companies need assurance to substantiate the reality of the claims they are making regarding ESG regulations. Group R&D is in the forefront through an Integrated ESG approach concept.

  • Astrid Rusås Kristoffersen,
  • Group R&D Director,
  • DNV

The benefits 

The Integrated ESG approach is the key to help companies tackle forthcoming regulations, enable transparency in sustainability reporting and disclosure, meet stakeholders’ expectations and attract public and private investments. With particular regard to the latter, investors’ attention is turning increasingly to sustainable finance and aiming to relocate capital towards companies that truly make efforts to sustainability. Therefore, being able to demonstrate an integrated approach will be a definite bonus for organisations seeking investment. 

Market potential  

Research and society are raising global awareness on the ESG Principles and policymakers are committed to harmonising the legislative framework in the pursuit of tracing a common line of action. DNV has proven ability to provide management systems, supply chain and product certification. With the new research program and related projects, we also aim to support our business areas grow their supply chain and product assurance services as the goals relate to the basic needs of the consumers and align with the opportunities being pursued by DNV.