Choosing the Right ESG Partner:

Why getting it right matters!! How to choose the right ESG partner or advisor is crucial. This blog is a must-read for every businessman, CEO, CFO, director, and head of ESG

Jeffrey Levine

6/26/20245 min read

How to choose the right ESG partner or advisor is crucial. This blog is a must-read for every businessman, CEO, CFO, director, and head of ESG. Amid the noise about climate change, environment, sustainability, and ESG, this blog offers free tips on how to get the right approach and balance. My book and platform, Upgrading ESG, addresses how current efforts fail and details “How Companies Can Thrive in the Age of Sustainability.”

I have been privileged to enjoy a close working relationship with Kevin James, the CEO of GCX, the leading ESG and environmental advisor to many leading blue-chip clients from shopping centres, real estate groups, banks, and more. They offer a holistic ESG approach with practical advice and a digital solution called “Dash,” which includes automated data capture, a data hub, real-time dashboard & reporting, and solutions for offsets & reduction. More about the GCX offerings can be found at this link.

This blog is a fascinating read for anyone heading ESG initiatives, whether you are struggling or succeeding. If you are looking to upgrade your ESG strategy and effectiveness, I invite you to get in touch.

In a recent podcast, Kevin James, CEO of GCX, shared insights on effectively driving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) sustainability within large enterprises. The conversation highlighted the importance of a comprehensive approach beyond mere compliance, emphasizing the value of deep partnerships, sophisticated data analytics, and long-term strategies to ensure a significant and sustainable positive impact.

This blog highlights key takeaways from this podcast, which is entertaining, informative, and worth listening to.

Podcast with Kevin James from GCX

Link to podcast: Selling Impact to Complex Multinational Organizations - with Kevin James, CEO of GCX, with Kees Brinkmans

Why Leading Companies Need the Right ESG Partner


Banks play a pivotal role in financing sustainable projects and promoting responsible investment. The right ESG partner helps banks integrate sustainability into their core operations, ensuring compliance with regulations and enhancing their reputation among investors and clients.

Real Estate Companies

Real estate companies face unique challenges in reducing their environmental footprint. An effective ESG partner can guide these companies in implementing energy-efficient practices, reducing waste, and enhancing building sustainability, ultimately increasing property value and appealing to eco-conscious tenants, clientele and investors.

Industrial Companies

Industrial companies often have significant environmental impacts due to their operations. A knowledgeable ESG partner can help minimize these impacts through innovative solutions, helping companies achieve regulatory compliance, reduce operational costs, and improve community relations.

Choosing the Right ESG Partner for Your Journey

Numerous sustainability consultants and software companies aim to help enterprises with sustainability and compliance. However, what sets GCX apart is its comprehensive toolkit, which doesn't just check boxes but actually propels clients forward by setting up and implementing effective strategies. GCX’s approach includes various tools that cater to different needs, ensuring clients achieve tangible progress.

What truly distinguishes GCX is its unique value proposition. Unlike many consultants who merely label themselves as partners, GCX has been a genuine partner to some of the largest leadership organizations in South Africa since 2008. This commitment is reflected in their long-term, deep, and meaningful relationships, underscored by a strategy extending to 2050. These enduring partnerships are a testament to their effective approach and the significant goodwill they've built.

GCX’s journey metaphor encapsulates their philosophy:

They are not just guiding clients to sustainability but beyond it. Sustainability in the status quo is insufficient; GCX aims to exceed these standards, ensuring their clients embark on a transformative journey.

Key Takeaway: GCX’s comprehensive toolkit and genuine partnership approach distinguish them from typical consultants, propelling clients forward with effective, long-term sustainability strategies.

The GCX Advantage: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Sustainability

Extensive Expertise and Tools

GCX distinguishes itself with an extensive toolkit integrated into their software and managed services. This enables setting and driving baselines, targets, and milestones, ensuring clients stay on the right trajectory towards their sustainability goals. Unlike many consultants who focus on ticking boxes, GCX partners deeply with their clients to develop and implement robust, tailored sustainability strategies.

Key Takeaway: GCX’s extensive toolkit ensures clients achieve their sustainability goals through tailored strategies.

Long-term, Meaningful Relationships

GCX fosters long-term relationships with clients, some dating back to 2008. These relationships are a testament to GCX's effective and holistic approach to sustainability, emphasizing a journey beyond mere compliance to achieve substantial, enduring positive impact.

Key Takeaway: GCX’s long-term client relationships underscore their effective and holistic sustainability approach.

Addressing Data Challenges with DASH

A significant part of GCX's offering is DASH, their Data Analytics Sustainability Hub. DASH helps clients manage disorganized sustainability data, monitor progress, make informed decisions, and communicate efforts effectively. DASH enhances reporting and stakeholder communications by consolidating data into a single, verifiable repository.

Key Takeaway: DASH organizes and makes sustainability data actionable, aiding in informed decision-making and communication.

Understanding Client Maturity and Motivation

GCX tailors their approach based on the maturity and motivations of each client. They assess current sustainability practices, key contacts' authority and influence, and specific pressures driving efforts. This understanding ensures that GCX can meet unique client needs effectively.

Key Takeaway: Understanding client maturity and motivations allows GCX to tailor their approach for effective sustainability strategies.

Strategic Engagement and Partnerships

GCX emphasizes thorough preparation and leveraging public domain information to engage new clients. Strategic partnerships are crucial in expansion, particularly in new markets like the EU. Collaborating with trusted local partners helps GCX navigate cultural and regulatory landscapes more effectively.

Key Takeaway: Strategic partnerships are key to GCX’s expansion, building trust, and navigating new markets.

Continuous Improvement and Custom Solutions

GCX offers customized solutions aligned with clients' current realities and maturity levels. Whether clients seek immediate cost savings or long-term strategic sustainability, GCX provides tools and expertise to deliver measurable business value.

Key Takeaway: GCX’s flexible strategies provide value to clients at various stages of their sustainability journey.

Overcoming Expansion Challenges

GCX leverages its strong reputation and partnerships to navigate challenges in new markets, such as building initial trust and overcoming language barriers. They present competitive propositions through well-prepared meetings, case studies, and comprehensive presentations.

Key Takeaway: GCX navigates new market challenges by leveraging reputation and partnerships.

Leveraging Technology for Better Outcomes

Technological solutions like DASH are crucial for GCX’s ability to deliver high-quality sustainability services. These technologies enable better data management, automated reporting, and precise monitoring of sustainability metrics, allowing clients to achieve their goals efficiently.

Key Takeaway: Leveraging technology like DASH ensures efficient data-driven decisions and scalability for sustainability services.


Kevin James’ insights highlight the importance of a comprehensive, partnership-driven approach to ESG sustainability. By leveraging an extensive toolkit, focusing on long-term relationships, and understanding client needs, GCX sets a strong example for driving meaningful and measurable sustainability outcomes. Their commitment to continuous improvement, strategic engagement, and leveraging technology positions them as a leader in the sustainability space, ready to meet the evolving challenges of the global market.

Key Takeaway: GCX’s comprehensive, partnership-driven approach, commitment to continuous improvement, and strategic engagement position them as a leader in the sustainability space.

Do You Want Your Company to Thrive in the Age of Sustainability?

I hope this blog has piqued your interest. I want to start a conversation about your ESG successes and challenges and how you can leverage our insights and experience to develop a robust and effective strategy tailored to your organization. Whether you are just beginning your sustainability journey or seeking to refine your current approach, we guarantee a valuable framework for achieving success.

Take the Next Step Towards Sustainability

If you want your company to thrive in the realm of sustainability, now is the time to act. Start a conversation about Upgrading ESG by emailing or WhatsApp at +972 (0)54 6668182. Together, we can lead your company to a sustainable and prosperous future.