Corporate sustainability has rarely been driven by Boards of Directors. However, recent evidence suggests that by embedding sustainability into their core duties, Directors are uniquely positioned to ensure that sustainability is fully mainstreamed into corporate strategies and practices. As the material impact of non-financial issues is now fully recognized, legal scholars and corporations are beginning to acknowledge that the fiduciary duty of Boards of Directors includes a responsibility to effectively manage risks and opportunities related to corporate sustainability, and to respond to the interests and concerns of all stakeholders.
Global Compact LEAD and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) – in collaboration with BCG, DLA Piper and BSR – have developed an innovative LEAD Board Programme to accelerate recognition by corporate leaders of the material impacts of non-financial issues. The LEAD Board Programme is the first of its kind to support Boards of Directors to effectively oversee and help drive their company’s sustainability strategy, with a view to protect and support financial value creation.
The LEAD Board Programme aims to put sustainability at the heart of the Board agenda, by helping Boards of Directors to:
The Global Compact LEAD Board Programme includes two interactive modules on the “Materiality of Sustainability” and “The Role of the Board”, to stimulate strategic, company-specific and action-oriented dialogue. Additional features include the following:
Six Global Compact LEAD companies from Europe, Asia and Africa are currently piloting the LEAD Board Programme as part of their 2013/2014 Board meetings or retreats. Guided by the experiences of LEAD companies during the pilot phase, the Programme is expected to be launched globally and made available to all UN Global Compact participants – along with relevant governance models – in November 2014.
While the programme is still in its pilot phase, companies that are considering to implement the LEAD Board Programme are encouraged to contact us today.