As the sustainability movement grows, so too do the ambiguities under which boards of directors govern. In this article published by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Thomas R. Burton and Benjamin D. Stone, members of our Energy & Sustainability practice group, provide suggestions for how boards can navigate this exciting but still developing sector and help corporations generate both profits and positive impact.
"It is encouraging to live in a time where society is increasingly insisting that corporations generate and measure social impact alongside profit. Not only is this a positive development from a moral perspective, but it's also good business. In the report, "From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance," for example, Oxford University and Arabesque Asset Management establish that corporations that "incorporate sustainability considerations into decision-making processes . . . show better operational performance and are less risky."
Mainstream financial and business leaders appear to, in large part, agree. In 2017, Larry Fink, chair of Blackrock, the world's largest asset manager, sent a letter to CEOs stating that, "to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society." Investors are following suit, with eighty-four percent (84%) applying or considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria."
Read the full article: "Stakeholders' Desire for Sustainability Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Boards"
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.