Leading companies and experts refresh the Three Lines Model for sustainability governance and risk management

Published: 14 Jul 2022
Type: News

Geneva, 14 July: Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) release Embedding ESG and sustainability considerations into the Three Lines Model, which helps organizations to identify appropriate structures and processes that best support the achievement of sustainability and ESG objectives to create and protect value.

The guidance document presents perspectives based on insights from WBCSD’s member companies and subject matter experts on governance and risk management. It highlights the internal and external factors driving the integration of ESG and sustainability into decision-making. It provides suggestions on how to bring these considerations into the roles and responsibilities of the “Three Lines” – the governing body, management and internal audit.

As companies navigate complex risk environments marked by heightened levels of scrutiny on the "governance” elements of ESG, the document provides recommendations and key questions to serve as the basis for increased integration of ESG and sustainability considerations in governance, strategy and internal controls. The guidance is intended for corporate boards, C-suite executives and internal control functions to strengthen corporate governance and risk management practices in sustainability.

The IIA’s Three Lines Model, which the guidance is based upon, is a timely update of the Three Lines of Defense. The Three Lines Model provides a refreshed understanding of how key organizational roles work together to facilitate strong governance and risk management. The strength of the model lies in its applicability to all organizations. Today’s release applies an ESG- and sustainability-related lens to the model so that organizations can strengthen their governance and management processes in sustainability.

Embedding ESG and sustainability into governance and enterprise risk management are key elements of WBCSD’s 2022-2027 Strategy. These core business practices will help accelerate the system transformations needed to secure a net-zero, nature-positive and equitable future across different value chains.

Access the full document here: http://www.wbcsd.org/ThreeLinesESG

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