From sustainability commitment to impact – how a social and environmental management system translates intention into action

A social and environmental management system (SEMS) supports companies and their financiers to improve business performance and realizing sustainability commitments. This article is an extract from the the 2019 Annual Report of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), to which Social Finance contributed. It highlights the relevance of a SEMS, in particular for financial institutions, and elaborates on the core elements of a SEMS. Based on Social Finance's decade-long work with multiple institutions, the article also discusses typical challenges in developing and implementing such systems and proposes ways of how to address them successfully.