Environmental and social responsibility is becoming more and more important in today’s global economy. There are thousands of environmental and social codes and standards in the world today. The codes and standards define the rules and the objectives. But the challenge is in the implementation. An environmental and social management system helps companies to integrate the rules and objectives into core business operations, through a set of clearly defined, repeatable processes. This Self-Assessment and Improvement Guide is intended to be a practical guide to help companies measure and improve their environmental and social management system (ESMS). This should help to improve overall operations. Version 2.3 October 2015 ESMS Self-Assessment and Improvement Guide 5 The ESMS Self-Assessment is a questionnaire that covers the nine fundamental elements of an ESMS. Based on its responses, a company can rate its maturity level in each of these nine ESMS elements, on a scale of 0 to 5. This helps to identify and prioritize the areas for improvement. The ESMS Improvement Guide provides a maturity matrix that helps the company to understand what each level of 0 to 5 means in each ESMS element. It also provides improvement tips that can help companies move up one level, and a template that can help them to reflect and develop an improvement plan. As you go through the Self-Assessment and Improvement Guide, you may want to refer to the companion publications, the ESMS Implementation Handbook and the ESMS Toolkit and Case Studies, which give more background on each of the nine ESMS elements. Our hope is that these will accelerate a company’s journey of continual improvement, for its own benefit and that of its employees and stakeholders.