The Conference Board Governance Center Blog

Aug
10
2016

Fact of the Week: Board engagement on sustainability issues is a strong indicator of leadership in sustainability, yet these issues remain absent from most company board discussions

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

Board engagement on sustainability issues is a strong indicator of leadership in sustainability, yet these issues remain absent from most company board discussions

Results from a survey by The Conference Board show executives point to board engagement on sustainability issues as a strong indicator of leadership in corporate sustainability. However, at many companies the sustainability function rarely meets with the board of directors. Results from the survey reveal that more than half of respondents (55%) indicate their companies’ sustainability and/or EH&S functions meet with the board of directors only once per year or never. When these functions do meet with the board, the amount of time spent discussing these issues is low: 69% of respondents indicate their boards spend only two to four hours per year discussing sustainability issues. One reason for the low amount of time that directors spend on sustainability is that many companies do not have adequate sustainability expertise on their boards. For instance, research from Ceres found that among a large sample of directors who sit on sustainability committees, only 19% had discernible expertise in sustainability issues.

Download the report for more insights on business practices that drive leadership in corporate sustainability.

This report and the full Corporate Intelligence portfolio are complimentary to members of The Conference Board. A fee may apply for non-members.

For further information on the report, do not hesitate to contact me. To learn more about our member benefits, visit our Membership page.

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.



You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply