Supporting the board's understanding of ESG to protect and preserve long-term value

A governance perspective and new online resources

Published: 20 May 2020
Type: News

Geneva, Switzerland 20 May: With the current pandemic shock and growing demand to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects, boards need to be equipped for today’s challenges. To help, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched a free online suite of resources for board directors to improve their decision-making processes to protect and preserve long-term value by considering the current pandemic and ESG aspects.

As uncertainty and fast-evolving operating environments stress test companies more than ever before, stronger board leadership is necessary. This suite of resources support directors by improving their awareness and understanding of how environmental, social and Covid-19 considerations can influence the board decision-making process and should be evident in their existing governance and organizational responsibilities. In addition to self-assessments and comprehensive resources, we’ve included key insights videos from leading voices across the globe including Gloria Santona at Baker McKenzie, Karina Litvack at ENI, Philippe Joubert at Earth on Board, Professor Colin Mayer and many more.

Peter Bakker, WBCSD’s President and CEO: “COVID-19 has been stress testing everything dramatically: people, politics, health and economic systems, our capitalist model, but also the way we live and work. Now, the primary focus for business is on recovery and “building back better”, which brings us immediately in ESG territory. This requires strong leadership, needed to provide strategic direction and to keep sustainability and an inclusive stakeholder approach at the core of long-term value creation and future business success. And it is here, that boards play a crucial role. Collectively, this crisis has shown us we are ill-prepared for shocks like this and we cannot let that happen again.”

The site comprises two overarching elements, a self-assessment designed to identify areas of strength and weakness, and an overview of fiduciary duty in respect of sustainability. The site covers areas of existing responsibility for the board, where sustainability considerations can enhance decision-making and improve board awareness of ESG-related risks and opportunities. The elements are designed to assist boards in modernizing their governance and are based on challenges identified in our report: Modernizing Governance – ESG challenges and recommendations for corporate directors.

The site is dynamic and evolving and will continue to be updated with resources to support boards on their journey.

Access the site here.

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