Corporate boards are responsible for overseeing the interests of shareholders in the long term and have a critical role to play in championing sustainability across the enterprise. Over the years, Wall Street research, academic papers, corporate reports and trends from major investors have all underscored the same message: Companies that adopt sustainable practices deliver superior financial results and can face the future with more resilience.
Based on interviews conducted with dozens of corporate directors, senior corporate leaders and governance experts, this Ceres report, View from the top: How Corporate Boards Engage on Sustainability Performance identifies key strategies for effective board engagement that can produce tangible environmental and social impacts.
Specifically, the report recommends two inter-related approaches for weaving sustainability more deeply across board functions:
1) Integrating sustainability into board governance systems, and
2) Integrating sustainability into board actions.
By combining robust systems and meaningful actions, boards will have a far better chance of encouraging substantive performance improvements.