Make the difference hub › Danica Corbin

“Technology is at the heart of any sustainable ESG strategy.”

Find out how a multi-disciplinary lens and sense of purpose drive Danica’s passion for championing ESG across the Caribbean. 

You wear two hats at KPMG in Caricom – Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Manager in Advisory and Environment Social Governance (ESG) Driver for the firm – please describe your role briefly and share what you love most about your work.

In my role on the GRC team, I support clients in understanding and mitigating the risks associated with key internal controls impacting their financial reporting process. When I wear my ESG hat, I pursue business development efforts to help clients create a holistic ESG enterprise strategy that brings long-term value to all stakeholders. This could also involve supporting clients in leveraging their ESG strategies to access capital and drive wider business value by exploring ways in which they can reduce the cost of their ESG activities through accessing tax credits, incentives, government subsidies, and grants.

My sense of purpose and love for the job is driven by my multi-disciplinary lens in developing the firm’s ESG value proposition for clients. I enjoy understanding their ESG needs to help them develop a robust and transparent methodology for analyzing climate risks and opportunities.

What really enthuses me are my ultimate goals- to support clients with ESG reporting that meets regulatory requirements and stakeholders’ expectations, as well as the prospect of working on projects that support our region’s energy transition targets to replace traditional power sources and implement renewable energy sources. 

ESG has climbed the boardroom agenda over the past few years, what’s accelerating the focus on ESG and what areas are you seeing companies prioritize?

Overall pressure from multiple stakeholders (regulators and policymakers, shareholders and investors, employees and community, supply chain and alliances), as well as multiple net zero commitments are driving boardroom agendas. According to the latest Global Risks Report 2023 from the World Economic Forum (WEF), of the top ten global risks currently facing economies, failure to mitigate climate change remains the biggest one in the long term. In the short term (2023-25), the cost-of-living crisis is emerging as the most severe risk, driven by high inflation and disruption in the flow of energy and food. Given this, it’s no surprise that companies are prioritizing their ESG strategy and transformation.

What role does technology play in enabling companies to embed ESG into their day-to-day operations?

Embedding ESG into the daily operations of a company is something that requires enhanced data collection and analysis – this is where tech-enabled ESG tools come in. They are needed to ensure that the data is not just collected but is also standardized and consistent in order to effectively understand and report on the company’s ESG performance and manage the volume of data that is needed to leverage critical decision-making. Technology is truly at the heart of any sustainable ESG strategy.

“If organizations haven't yet started embedding ESG considerations into their business operations, my number one piece of advice would be to begin the process now.”

 - Danica Corbin, KPMG Caricom 

What are some of the challenges that clients in the Caribbean face along their ESG journey?

Many organizations in the region are facing a similar fundamental challenge as their global counterparts – fully understanding how the ‘when’, ‘how’, and ‘what’ of ESG affect their business environment.

Caribbean countries have had a high level of exposure and vulnerability to climate-related disasters and there is still inadequate access to relevant, reliable ESG data to guide climate-decision-making.

When it comes to energy, while sustainability-related measures have been high on the agenda of many clients and there is a desire for the region to transition to renewable energy (with some clients already making significant headway), the challenge comes with financing these initiatives. Global supply chain issues, rising costs, and demands make it difficult to gain access to the right technology for energy storage and grid expansion to support the production and channeling of renewable energy. These challenges, coupled with a lack of guidance from regulators on policies, reporting standards, frameworks, and requirements can make it a confusing and difficult landscape to navigate. Our KPMG team works with clients in the region to overcome these and other ESG obstacles.

What’s your number one advice to organizations in the region that haven’t yet started embedding ESG in their business operations?

ESG is not just something you do, it’s everything you do. If organizations haven't yet started embedding ESG considerations into their business operations, my number one piece of advice would be to begin the process now.

One of the major ESG pitfalls of many organizations is to start their ESG journey without the right advisors. Like most change, the ESG journey can be daunting and requires expert knowledge, so having the right ESG professionals onboard to pursue initiatives that have real, value-added, long-lasting impact on the future, is the first step.

Once the right ESG team is in place, organizations can start to upskill their people and determine which ESG factors are most relevant to their industry, business model, and stakeholders. The team can then develop a strategy for integrating ESG considerations into the business operations.  

In your view, how does working at KPMG make a difference?

KPMG makes a difference by embracing a problem-solving culture, investing heavily in technology and alliance programs with global-leading technology companies, and focusing on how digital transformation can help our clients navigate the ever-evolving business landscape.

Throughout my 10 years at KPMG, I have also seen that the firm truly cares about our people, our communities, and our clients.

When it comes to ESG, we not only make a difference with clients’ ESG agendas, but we too, see ESG as a watermark running through every aspect of our firm and we have a comprehensive IMPACT Plan that tracks and monitors our progress against our objectives.