Environmental, social and governance standards (ESG) are fast becoming must-have pillars of responsibility for organisations across industry sectors. These standards generally tie a company’s corporate compensation to performance metrics in areas including environmental impacts and workforce diversity. A number of brands in the restaurant industry have publicly shared their ESG standards. Most recently Papa John’s, but also Starbucks, Wendy’s, Chipotle and McDonald’s have made announcements tying their corporate compensation to ESG goals. Across sectors, ESG standards tend to give brands some environmentally friendly luster with investors and consumers, even though they aren’t perfect indicators of how environmentally friendly a company may be. (As a recent report from the Harvard Business Review stated, “ESG ratings are based on…the impact of the changing world on the company’s profits, not the reverse.”) Regardless, ESG standards are increasingly shining a spotlight on what brands are – and aren’t – doing with regard to the environment and social responsibility. Even if you don’t have formal ESG standards, it’s prudent to look at what other brands are saying about their practices and consider what commitments you can make to reduce waste, offer sustainably sourced items on your menu, adopt environmentally friendly products and practices, and improve efforts at diversity and inclusion. Your guests and potential staff are watching – and you have an opportunity to attract them through your actions.