The ESG Revolutionaries: Meet Five Innovators Building a Better Sustainable Future

March 4 2024

Faces and Markets of PRGN is a new series of blog posts in 2024 that puts PRGN member agencies and their markets in the spotlight.

Each week, expect to read about a market from an economic, business and communications point of view, brought to you by the very people living and working on the ground in that country, state or region.

The blog pieces illustrate the vast amount of in-depth knowledge of business, media, communications and marketing PRGN brings together having presence in more than 40 countries and 70 cities on six continents through its member agencies globally.

In this week’s blog post, Michael Diegelmann, Founder and CEO of cometis AG in Wiesbaden, Germany, describes five innovation pathways that follow ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles – a field where cometis is active and offers large corporations business and communications strategies.

In a world increasingly aware of

The urgent need for environmental preservation and social responsibility, businesses and organizations are stepping up to implement pioneering initiatives that go beyond profit-making. Embracing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, these innovative projects are driving sustainable change and shaping a more conscientious future for industries worldwide. Let us explore some groundbreaking ESG initiatives driving sustainable change.

Wiesbaden - Germany
Wiesbaden, Germany | Photo from Pinterest

1. Circular Economy Platforms Redefining Consumption

Circular economy platforms are revolutionizing consumption by redefining traditional linear models of “take-make-dispose” to more sustainable, regenerative systems. These platforms facilitate the reuse, refurbishment, sharing, and recycling of products and materials, aiming to minimize waste generation and maximize resource efficiency.

One notable example of a circular economy platform redefining consumption is the “LOOP” initiative by TerraCycle. It stands tall in this space, offering reusable packaging solutions. Collaborating with major brands, Loop provides everyday products in durable, refillable containers, aiming to drastically reduce single-use packaging waste. This initiative seeks to redefine consumer behavior by promoting durable, reusable alternatives.  Reference: Loop by TerraCycle

2. Green Bonds and Sustainable Financing

Green bonds represent a key instrument in sustainable finance, designed to raise capital for projects that have positive environmental or climate-related impacts. These bonds are typically issued by governments, municipalities, corporations, or financial institutions to fund projects focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, sustainable water management, and more.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) issued the Climate Awareness Bond (CAB), representing one of the largest green bond programs globally. The CAB was launched to finance projects aimed at mitigating climate change and promoting environmental sustainability. Reference: Climate Awareness Bond

3. Carbon Neutrality and Offsetting Initiatives

In the fight against climate change, carbon neutrality stands as a critical goal, aiming to balance the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere with actions that remove or offset an equivalent amount. Achieving carbon neutrality involves not just reducing emissions but also investing in projects that absorb or prevent the release of carbon dioxide.

Microsoft’s commitment to achieve carbon negativity by 2030 has set a precedent in corporate environmental responsibility. Beyond reducing emissions, Microsoft plans to remove historical carbon by 2050. This ambitious goal underscores the company’s dedication to combatting climate change. It exemplifies the power of corporate giants in driving innovative sustainability measures. Reference: Microsoft

4. Impact Investing for Social and Environmental Change

Impact investing revolves around the idea that where we invest our money can make a difference beyond mere profits. It involves intentionally directing funds into companies, organizations, or projects that create positive social or environmental effects while also aiming for financial gains. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) spearheads impact investing, directing capital toward projects with tangible social and environmental benefits. This approach integrates financial returns with societal impact, steering investments towards initiatives addressing pressing global challenges. Impact-driven investments pave the way for financial success intertwined with positive social outcomes. Reference: Global Impact Investing Network

One exemplar of impact investing is Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund. Acumen operates by investing patient capital in businesses that serve low-income communities in developing countries. Their investments are designed to improve the lives of those living in poverty while also being financially sustainable in the long run. Reference: Acumen

5. The Global ESG monitor

The Global ESG Monitor measures the quality of Sustainability Reporting from large corporations worldwide. Accurate and comprehensive reporting fosters trust with stakeholders and guides companies towards continuous improvement. Companies spend hundreds of thousands of euros or U.S. dollars to build structures for professional ESG Reporting but do not know how good their reporting really is. The Global ESG Monitor is closing this gap by providing easy to understand reports to help companies improve their ESG-reporting.

GEM´s Approach to Transparency, Context and Quality: 

GEM’s operational methodology is designed to foster quality in ESG / Sustainability reporting through a detailed, structured process. GEM acts as a compass for companies steering the ESG landscape. Its sophisticated GEM ASSAY™ methodology, meticulously refined to adapt to evolving industry needs, provides crucial benchmarks and factual insights. This empowers companies to deliver superior ESG reporting to stakeholders, fostering trust, and building a stronger foundation for sustainable growth.

The operationalization of transparency underlying the GEM ASSAY™ is based on various guidelines including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), ISO Standard 26000, World Economic Forum (WEF), IFRS, TCFD, Accountability, UNGC as well as an individual Stakeholder engagement.

Comprehensive Assessment: GEM ASSAY™ methodology conducts a meticulous evaluation using over 700 questions and 4,000 variables being analyzed by three different analysts. This approach adapts to the material topics chosen by companies. It ensures a comprehensive review, covering the wide spectrum of ESG factors.

Objective Evaluation: GEM ASSAY™ methodology process maintains an impartial stance, refraining from judgment on business models. This objectivity fosters a neutral and credible evaluation of companies’ sustainability practices.

3x Human-Centric Research: GEM ASSAY™ methodology research is conducted by three different individuals, enhancing accuracy and credibility. This human-centric approach helps offer nuanced insights and a more holistic evaluation.

Solutions for Large Corporations

Individual GAP & Benchmark Reports: The GEM provides individual GAP and Benchmark reports to corporations. These reports contain easy-to-understand, actionable insights aimed at bolstering sustainability initiatives and improving reporting practices based on a scientific approach.

The following reports are available:

  1. Challenger Report
  2. Benchmark Report
  3. CSRD/ESRS Readiness Report


The world of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is ever-changing, with new initiatives sprouting like seeds eager for sunlight. Amidst this fertile landscape, the Global ESG Monitor helps companies bridge the gap, ensuring their sustainability efforts are transparent, credible, and deliver tangible value to everyone.

Through our Individual GAP reports, the GEM empowers companies to understand strengths and areas for improvement in their sustainability actions. This aids in enhancing their ESG reporting, fostering greater transparency, and strengthening their engagement with stakeholders.

In a world where sustainability reigns supreme, the GEM offers an indication of clarity.

By partnering with the GEM, organizations embark on a journey towards transparent and impactful ESG reporting, building trust and credibility with stakeholders. Ultimately, the GEM’s contribution goes beyond the boardroom, helping shape a more sustainable future for all.

About cometis AG in Wiesbaden, Germany:

cometis AG is a leading investor relations consulting firm in Germany and Europe, providing a comprehensive range of investor relations, ESG and media relations services to companies across Europe and North America. Our core competency is in strategic investor relations, ESG consultancy, IPO communication, M&A communication and crisis communication, but also ongoing investor relations consulting. Based on a deep understanding of capital markets and financial transactions and an extensive network that includes all major players (investors, analysts, journalists, banks and consultants), cometis is able to communicate in a target-oriented manner and position you and your company within the European capital markets and improve the public’s perception of your brand. The cometis AG team of 25 professionals based in Frankfurt am Main / Wiesbaden, Germany, has managed more than 500 projects related to capital markets over the past years. cometis is the IR service agency for steering your company successfully through the European financial markets.

What is worth doing is worth doing right

Michael Diegelmann
Founder and CEO, cometis AG

Michael Diegelmann is co-founder of the Global ESG Monitor and founder and CEO of cometis AG. In his 25-year career he has gained a wealth of experience across the entire spectrum of investor relations. IPOs, capital raises, ESG consultations, hostile and friendly takeovers (cross border), bond issues as well as corporate crises and all aspects of investor relations and financial media relations are part of his specialty.

Michael has a long-standing network of contacts to media, analysts, fund managers and many opinion leaders in the financial community.

In addition, Michael is co-author of numerous specialist publications, including the bestseller “100 Financial Ratios” with more than 300,000 copies sold. After studying International Business Administration in Wiesbaden, Germany, and then in the U.S., Canada and England. In his early career, Michael  worked for a Frankfurt-based brokerage house, then as a project manager for an international consulting firm and as a freelance journalist.

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