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Sustainable Business Leadership in 2030 - 4 scenarios and 3 years on

interlinking floors

In 2021 we wanted to understand who will lead the agenda on sustainable business. Who are the players that might drive it? What systems and pressures will influence their actions? 

3 years closer to the target date, it's fascinating to look back at our scenarios. What has changed in sustainable leadership?

sustainable leadership scenarios

  1. ESG Intrapreneurs seem subdued, will they ever gain sway over their companies' direction?

  2. Idealist CEOs seem more like 'political CEOs' - more careful where they stand in the spectrum between left and right. AI, defence, and mega companies like the magnificent-7 have taken the spotlight off innovators in climate change or alternative foods.

  3. Leading Boards are more common today than in 2021, but ESG-engagement of directors seemed to have reached a ceiling at less than every 2nd director being ESG-engaged. Investor pressures are present, but have declined since 2023, evident in asset managers' voting behaviour against ESG shareholder proposals.

  4. With Governments and Stakeholders we seem to have been spot on. Regulation has picked up significantly. However, the US political backlash on ESG was a blind spot.


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