In this episode, I welcome Jules Oringel as my guest this week, and she may have the unique story that’s ever been shared on The ESG Report. Jules is a second-year student at UNC, where she double majors in Business Administration, concentrating on ESG, Sustainability, and Human Organizational Leadership & Development, with a minor in Public Policy. She’s here to talk about her passion for ESG and sustainability and the road to pursuing it as a professional career post-grad. See more +
Entering the World of Sustainable Development
I asked Jules what led to her studies at UNC. Jules explains that in 2018, after losing a loved one in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, she founded Return Home Supplies, a youth-led nonprofit organization working toward ending gun violence in America. Speaking about gun safety legislation helped her heal from trauma and educated her on how policy and business were intermixed in a way she’d never understood before.
She was introduced to ESG in college and was so interested that she declared a major in business in addition to her focus on public policy. In Jules’ words, “Taking classes in ESG is just opening my eyes to what ESG in business and nonprofit can do to make the world a better place.”
The Impact of Customers on ESG
In her classes, Jules learns about the economic benefits of working towards sustainable development goals as a business. Some notable benefits include higher sales, employee retention, and brand loyalty. She cites Patagonia as a worthy example for other businesses to follow. “We can’t go through and do hours of research on every product we’re purchasing,” she comments. However, she continues, if we are mindful of the companies we purchase products from, we can make our carbon footprints more sustainable. Ultimately, it’s up to corporations to focus on ESG to enact greater change.
Generation Z and ESG’s Future
The current generation is very willing to embrace many concepts pertaining to social justice. I ask Jules why she thinks that may be. “My generation is the most diverse and most focused on social and economic justice,” Jules claims. Generation Z strives to eventually work for organizations that care about their employees and their environmental impact and form long-standing partnerships with social organizations to alleviate standing issues in our society.
However, she highlights that without large companies listening to what Gen Z is looking for in terms of ESG, none of these problems will be solved. She hopes that as this generation continues to educate themselves and enters the workforce, employers will begin to see the value of ESG.
Why Should ESG Internships Be Offered?
Jules speaks about the process of applying for internships. I asked her, “Do you have any thoughts you could share directly with businesses about why they should offer ESG internships?” Though there are tons of marketing and finance internships available, it is not easy to find roles in ESG despite the high levels of interest expressed by the current generation. Jules understands the requirement of 5 to 10 years of experience for most of the roles that are offered in social and environmental impact management but encourage companies to work on providing more opportunities to learn from the best in sustainability to ensure that they have convenient access to people who are ready and willing to tackle ESG issues.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals
There are 17 UN sustainable development goals ranging from zero hunger to decent work and economic growth. Each goal comes with specific targets to help meet them by 2030. The UN Global Compact hopes to provide different frameworks and resources to encourage businesses to embrace these goals. Should businesses cooperate, we have a chance to achieve a much more prosperous and equitable future, Jules points out. See less –