In this exclusive CyberTalk.org interview, Idan Eden, the ESG Manager for Check Point, shares her expertise on the rapidly growing importance of ESG in corporate decision-making. As a highly knowledgeable ESG Manager, Idan is at the forefront of this trend. She helps Check Point build an ESG strategy that not only reduces risks and enhances sustainability, but that also creates value for stakeholders.
Her leadership is critical in establishing Check Point as a socially responsible company that prioritizes environmental protection, social justice and good governance.
Help our readers get to know you! Would you like to share a bit about your role?
Yes. I’ve worked for Check Point for 16 years now, and I’ve held a few different management positions within the company. Previously, I was in the sales administration department. I managed the Sales Admin Support team for a while. And then I managed the Inside Sales group in EMEA/Israel.
At the end of 2021, Check Point began to place greater emphasis on ESG. We had a few discussions, which I was apart of. We had general meetings with management. And then, when I realized that they were considering opening a position focused on ESG management, I jumped at the opportunity, as ESG is something that is personally important for me.
I wanted to do something with impact (and something new). So, I started in this role at the beginning of 2022. It was a completely new position at Check Point. Together with my manager, we basically built everything from scratch and had to learn everything. But it’s been a great opportunity, and it’s a very important position at Check Point, as it shows that the company cares about this topic.
Why does a company like Check Point, which is in cyber security, need ESG management?
Today, it is expected from all companies, especially public-facing companies, to create an impact in the environment, social and governance areas.
ESG is about building strategy and reducing and mitigating risks. So if you have good ESG strategies and policies, it makes the company more stable. It shows greater sustainability, especially to investors and stakeholders.
Consider this example: If I’m an investor, and I want to choose between investing in two different cyber security companies that have the same financial reports, and one company has a better ESG report (say it shows that the company has a more stable workforce and more policies to prevent corruption and to enhance data privacy) then I would choose the company that seems more stable.
Lastly, we want to create value for our stakeholders. Our stakeholders are our investors, employees, customers, partners…etc. So, we want to create positive relationships with those groups and individuals, to create more value, and to leverage ESG to enhance our reputation.
Examples showing why we need ESG management and managers:
- In relation to the environment: Although we’re a software company, and not a manufacturing company, we still want to help the world reduce carbon emissions and carbon footprints. So, as a company, we can be in charge of our own carbon footprint and try to create strategies for reducing carbon emissions, figuring out how to manage energy in a more sustainable way, and how to increase sustainable practices within operations.
- In relation to diversity (social area): We work to increase the diversity in the company. What we’ve seen is that a more diverse workforce brings in greater talent, creativity and innovation. By increasing the diversity of the company, I’m really increasing the stability and the options available within the company.
- In relation to the governance part: Good governance is crucial for any company, regardless of its industry. It helps ensure that the company is operating in an ethical and transparent manner and is aligned with the interests of our stakeholders. For Check Point, governance includes issues such as data privacy, cyber security, and risk management.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
ESG, being a relatively new domain, affords me the opportunity to acquire knowledge on a daily basis, exercise creativity, interact with fellow ESG managers to exchange ideas and expertise, and contribute towards defining the strategic direction and vision of the organization.
Besides that, the prospect of engaging in activities that align with my personal values and have the potential to generate a positive impact or advancement towards a better world holds great significance for me.
CyberTalk.org is an executive-level platform. How can executives better prioritize ESG?
The #1 thing that I’ve noticed is that the success of it really depends on how engaged executives are.
The second thing is that when executives feel engaged, they create a culture of ESG and they bring it down to their teams and groups, explaining the importance and what we want to accomplish. So, if executives are engaged, their people become engaged, and then —I call it the technical aspect— they develop a strategic plan for their group, metrics, KPIs and allocate resources.
How can companies ensure that they are transparent and accountable when it comes to ESG reporting and security practices?
To ensure transparency and accountability in ESG reporting and security practices, companies can establish clear ESG policies, develop metrics and KPIs to track progress, conduct independent audits and assessments, engage with stakeholders, and foster a culture of transparency. By taking these steps, companies can build trust with stakeholders, enhance their reputation, and contribute to long-term sustainability and social responsibility objectives.
Do you have an Earth Day message for the audience?
Our planet is facing unprecedented environmental challenges, including climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity. As individuals, we can make a difference by adopting sustainable practices in our daily lives, reducing waste, conserving energy, and supporting eco-friendly initiatives. As businesses, we can prioritize sustainability, invest in renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and adopt circular economy models.
By working together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.
Happy Earth Day!