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How to Move Sustainability to the Boardroom

The UN Global Compact has launched a program to help move sustainability issues from the backroom to the boardroom.

The Global Compact Board Programme supports boards of directors to oversee and drive a strategic approach to corporate sustainability, and to respond to the interests of all their key stakeholders while protecting and creating financial value.

The program will help companies better manage risk and growth opportunities by developing solutions that respond to the future demands of people and needs of the planet, UNGC says.

Developed by Global Compact LEAD and the Principles for Responsible Management Education — in collaboration with partners the Boston Consulting Group and DLA Piper — the Board Programme seeks to accelerate recognition by corporate leaders of the material impacts of non-financial issues, and integrate sustainability into business strategy and operations.

UNGC says board adoption and oversight of corporate sustainability, while on the rise in some respects, represents an area where vast improvement and gains can be achieved, as companies often demonstrate a “performance gap” between ambition and execution on sustainability. In a survey of nearly 2,000 Global Compact companies, 90 percent said their boards discuss and act on sustainability issues, while only 15 percent provide corporate responsibility training for board members.

 

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