Zimbabwean business and brands have been implored to join the global movement on environmental, social governance compliance and build purposeful brands around it. 

A top business executive highlighted that ESG matters represent the trifecta of environmental, social, and governance values that are reshaping the business landscape across the globe.

Speaking at the Superbrand Breakfast Meeting held on May 26 in Harare, ZB Financial Holdings CEO, Shepherd Fungura said ESG is 

 not a mere acronym; it’s a revolution that calls for every business to act. 

“Zimbabwe has joined this global movement, proudly waving the flag of ESG compliance across sectors, signaling to the world that we mean business, both figuratively and literally. But let’s be clear—ESG is not just about checking off boxes or jumping on the bandwagon.

It’s about embedding purpose in every fibre of our brands. It’s about understanding that profit and purpose are not adversaries but dance partners,” said Fungura.

In a speech read on his behalf by ZB Agency Banking Manager Emilliah Mabika , Fungura said purposeful brands transcend transactions and become a beacon of hope, inspiring change in the world. 

“That’s the power of purposeful branding fuelled by ESG. It’s about connecting with our customers on a deeper level, speaking to their aspirations, and showing them that their choices matter. When we align our brands with their values and weave sustainability into our DNA, we create an unbreakable bond,” said Fungura.

He added: “Let’s take a moment to appreciate the strategic role of sustainability in shaping our financial reporting. It’s not just about numbers on a spreadsheet; it’s about telling a story—a story of resilience, innovation, and long-term value creation.

Fungura pointed out that investors were increasingly scrutinising organisation’s ESG performance, recognizing that a brand with a strong ESG foundation is built to weather storms, navigate uncertainties, and emerge as a winner in the eyes of shareholders.

He said ESG is no longer an abstract concept; it’s a call to action for each and everyone and it’s a reminder that we are not just corporate entities but corporate citizens. 

“We have a duty to our communities, our employees, and our planet. The people concept and the planet concept must intertwine, waltzing gracefully to the rhythm of progress. By embracing ESG, we demonstrate that profitability can coexist with empathy, that business success is not measured solely by financial gains but also by the positive impact we create,” said Fungura.

Fungura said ESG is a journey of transformation that propels brands to new heights. 

“It’s about harnessing the power of renewable energy, reducing our carbon footprint, and revolutionizing our operations. As our brands shine brighter, we attract not just customers but a tribe of loyal advocates who proudly align themselves with our purpose. Together, we become a force for change, rewriting the narrative of what it means to be a successful brand in the 21st century,” he said.

In his conclusion, he implored marketers to embrace ESG as the catalyst that propels brands towards unprecedented success.

“Let us break free from the shackles of conventional thinking and embark on a journey of purpose with profit. Together, we can create brands that transcend boundaries, inspire generations, and leave an indelible mark on our society. The time for change is now, and the power lies in our hands,” he said.

MAZ president, Ms Lillian Mbayiwa in her opening remarks highlighted that the Association had taken a deliberate step to promote ESG matters hence the theme for the Breakfast Meeting.

“Environmental, Social and Governance matters have become topical in every sector and we are saying marketers must be at the forefront of promoting ESG issues through incorporating ESG matters in their strategies. 

As MAZ we have gone further to appoint an ESG specialist on our Board as well as having a committee that will spearhead these issues and we hope these will cascade to all our corporate members,” said Mbayiwa.