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Sustainability Newsletter August/September 2023


Dear Follower, This month, we revealed our new identify as The Sustainability Board. Formerly known as The Sustainability Board Report, we are excited to announce our new name. As our organisation has evolved and grown, we now embrace a broader mission as a comprehensive resource for policy and research, thought leadership, and intelligence services supporting sustainable leadership and governance. While we initially gained recognition through our groundbreaking report on ESG engagement of boards, our new identity as 'The Sustainability Board' reflects our commitment to go beyond reporting. Our vision is to foster a community of sustainable leaders, empowering them to drive positive change. As we embark on this journey, we look forward to offering invaluable insights, innovative solutions, and a forthcoming membership programme that focuses on cultivating and nurturing sustainable leadership. Thank you for joining us in this exciting phase, and we invite you to explore our enriched platform as we continue our dedicated efforts to build a more sustainable and resilient future.


 

News

 

Bloomberg CEOs Sharpen ESG Positions as Conservative Backlash Intensifies In the US, executives from Home Depot, Booking(dot)com, and other corporations have faced significant investor pushback on their ESG policies this proxy season. While some companies downplayed their ESG commitments due to backlash, a phenomenon termed 'greenhushing', others robustly defended their strategies. Experts emphasize the importance of linking ESG initiatives directly to shareholder value. The rise of virtual investor meetings has broadened shareholder participation, leading to diverse queries for executives.





ESG Today

A recent KPMG survey indicates that ESG factors are playing a pivotal role in M&A decisions. Over half of the surveyed M&A professionals cancelled deals due to significant findings during ESG due diligence. Furthermore, around 60% of investors are ready to pay a premium for companies demonstrating advanced ESG maturity. The study also revealed that the frequency of ESG due diligence is likely to rise, with challenges including data robustness and understanding the scope of ESG evaluations. KPMG underscores that sustainable practices are now essential for business resilience and growth.





Climate Governance Initiative SEC Climate Disclosure Proposal: Key Insights In March 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed that US public companies incorporate climate-related disclosures in registration statements and periodic reports. This move emphasises corporate boards' role in ensuring transparent climate-disclosures to stakeholders. The rule mandates directors to embed climate change within corporate strategy, oversight, and disclosure. Key board concerns include readiness for mandatory disclosures, clarity on climate-related risks and impacts, board oversight on climate-related assessments, and reporting capabilities. The SEC's initiative aligns with its responsibility to provide timely material information to investors and counteracts greenwashing. The proposal mirrors global disclosure frameworks like TCFD and GHG Protocol. The rule is currently under review with a decision anticipated in Autumn 2023.




 

TSB Thought Leadership

 

Upcoming Webinar 31st of August 2023 11am ET / 4pm BST Business Resilience and Adaptation in an Era of Extreme Heat Events

As the mercury rises across the globe, extreme heat events are becoming a new normal. It's not just an environmental crisis; it's a business one, too. From disrupted supply chains and operational challenges to increased employee health risks, the impact of extreme heat on business operations is significant and far reaching. Adapting to these changes is not a choice but a necessity for businesses. But what does adaptation look like in the context of extreme heat? What role do business leaders and boards play in fostering resilience, and how can these adaptation strategies be implemented across various industries?





Podcast

Leadership Conversations Live: Building a Sustainability Culture

In the first live session of our podcast we discuss the secrets to 'Building a Sustainability Culture'.

We explore the highlights and insights from a new report with Paul Washington from The Conference Board' and Srinand Yalamanchili from Baker Tilly. We discuss how boards, management, and the entire organisation play crucial roles in shaping this culture, as well as the role of purpose and incentives.







Leadership Conversations by TSBR Beth Sasfai of Cooley on Ambitious Sustainability Goals In this episode we speak to Beth Sasfai, Partner at the renowned law firm Cooley. We talk about the challenge of sustainability reporting requirements and how most companies have lost the idea of big ambitious goals. We also discuss the difference in sustainability governance and ESG strategy between public and private businesses, and common blind spots in start-ups that create risk. Beth talks about her personal experiences counselling for clients on ESG; which stakeholders she considers to be the most influential right now; and she shares her recommendations for sustainability oversight on board level.





Our new Membership (available soon)

Our memberships will be tiered into 'corporate' and 'individual' with distinct benefits.

Both tiers will enjoy member-only thought leadership, insights, and best practice as well as preferred access to our policy and research.

Our individual membership is tailored to empower executives and board directors, equipping them with essential sustainable leadership skills and the capacity to effectively implement and oversee stakeholder driven ESG agendas. We will aid in personal leadership transformation and provide custom coaching sessions through our advisor network.


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