The Conference Board Governance Center Blog

Aug
03
2016

Fact of the Week: Just over one-third of companies assign responsibility for sustainability oversight to the board

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Just over one-third of companies assign responsibility for sustainability oversight to the board.

A survey by The Conference Board shows executives point to board engagement on sustainability issues as a strong indicator of leadership in corporate sustainability. Yet a separate survey of 307 SEC-registered businesses shows only 36% of businesses assign responsibility for sustainability oversight to the board. However, there are significant variations by company size, as almost 68% of companies with revenues of more than $20 billion assign this responsibility to the board. Among these larger companies, sustainability oversight is most often assigned to a dedicated standing committee of the board or to an existing nominating/governance committee. Among smaller companies – those with revenues below $1 billion – sustainability oversight typically falls to the CEO or to a senior executive reporting directly to the CEO.

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About the author:

Matteo Tonello

Matteo Tonello
Managing Director
Corporate Leadership
The Conference Board

Matteo Tonello is managing director at The Conference Board. In his role, Tonello advises members of The Conference Board on issues of corporate governance, risk management, corporate sustainability and citizenship. He regularly participates as a speaker and moderator in educational programs on best practices and conducts analyses and research in collaboration with leading corporations, institutional investors, and professional firms. Follow Matteo on Twitter: @MatteoTonelloNY.



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