Rising to the ESG Challenge: Towards Effective Governance

In a world that is increasingly volatile, it’s more important than ever for businesses to lead the way in environmental and social endeavors. This includes prompting eco-friendly consumption among consumers and transitioning toward a CO2-neutral model. More than ever, board directors are indispensable in leading the ESG agenda forward to drive positive impact on a local level.

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Research on Board Structure Alternatives handling Sustainability

In a recent joint study by the INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre (ICGC) and BCG, over 90% of board members said they wanted to spend more time with their boards. When it comes to integrating ESG into company strategy and governance, boards are only moderately or not at all effective. In fact, one-third of directors believe that the ability to execute ESG strategies is one of the biggest threats to achieving ESG goals.

Ron Soonieus, Director in Residence with ICGC and Senior Advisor with BCG, who led the research also identified six core governance models and complementary practices that boards attain to support the ESG agenda.


Insights on Boards organization handling Sustainability issues 

These findings were shared in a webinar held by Boards Impact Forum, together with INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre and BCG, and was also run in cooperation with several Climate Governance Initiative Chapters including Chapter Zero UK, Climate Governance Initiative in Singapore and Malaysia. 

A stimulating panel discussion followed with guest panellists 
* Johan Raslan, Independent Director, Sime Darby Property Berhad and Board Member of Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia and Climate Governance Initiative Malaysia
* Lise Kingo, Non-Executive Director at Sanofi, Covestro and Aker Horizons, former Executive Director of Global Compact and Member of Boards Impact Forums Strategic Advisory Board
* Noora Al Marzooqi, Vice President, Group Strategic Investments of ADNOC, Board Member of ADNOC LNG, ADNOC City Gas Company, Abu Dhabi Energy Real State Company LLC, and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives;
* Susan Hooper, Chair of Tangle Teezer and Inter.Earth and Board Member of Moonpig plc, EUROWAG plc, Uber UK and Founding Director of Chapter Zero UK.

The panelists shared that the journey can be materialised through many practicable routes albeit no one-size-fits-all solution. To effectively confront ESG challenges, boards need to consider the sustainability of their governance structure to underpin implementation of long-term action plans that are aligned strategically across the organisation. The panel was moderated by Liselotte Engstam, Chair Boards Impact Forum and Member Global Governing Board of Climate Governance Initiative in collaboration with World Economic Forum.  

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A fireside chat followed with Nicolas Naudin, Non-Executive Director Board, Human Cell Design and Member of the IFA/ESG steering Committee, Chair of the Non-Financial Reporting Working Group and Member of the EU Confederation of Directors’ Association (ecoDa) Task Force on ESG who shares perspective on the regulatory landscape, arbitrary role of the board and the imperative of consistency in integrating ESG into the heart of strategy and applied across the different dimensions of business from product/service design to communication, remuneration, capital allocation and investment decisions.  The Fireside Chat interview and final Q&A was moderated by Sonia Tatar, Executive Director INSEAD ICGC and Board Member Chapter Zero France. 

Learning more and deep dive

An insightful write up from the webinar has been shared as a Knowledge article at INSEAD

The full webinar recording can be found at Boards Impact Forums Youtube Channel

Referenced Research Directors Can Up their Game on ESG Issues

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