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2013: what happened? A summary on corporate sustainability

Ardea International
Ardea International
Ardea InternationalExperienced Environmental lawyer/ Sustainability and business and human rights expert/ Director of CLT envirolaw/ at Ardea International

2013: What happened? A summary on corporate sustainability

2013: what happened? A summary on corporate sustainability

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2013: What happened? A
YOUR HEADING
Summary on Corporate
HERE
Sustainability
10.05.2011
‘Tone from the top’ is key for Sustainability
culture★

• Companies where top management takes the
lead are more aware and prepared to address
sustainability risks
• Sustainability becomes more embedded in
corporate strategy and governance where
CEO’s report to the board on these issues
• Involvement of the C-suite underlines growth
of corporate sustainability as a strategic
differentiator
Customers are pushing the agenda
• Pushing the agenda – for example on
environmental and working conditions
• Growing interest on product sourcing
• Demand for transparency and engagement
Governments
• Failure by governments to take the lead- from
annual UN-led climate summits (COPs) ; 2012
Rio Summit
• Pessimism over governments failure to take
action on planets biggest challenges
• Risk of sovereign bonds being further
impacted by threatened or depleted natural
resources
Increasing role of NGOs to press for
change
• NGO’s increasingly have stepped into the void
created by government failure to take action
• Greater push by NGOs for transparency and
accountability. For example, the Carbon
Disclosure Project pushing companies to
disclose carbon footprints and water risks
• Greater campaigning on human rights issues
Stock exchanges awaken to
sustainability
• NASDAQ OMX founding member of
Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative
• Johannesburg Stock Exchange requires more
than 450 companies to produce integrated
report
• Brazilian exchange BM&FBOVESPA adopted a
comply and explain policy in 2012

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2013: what happened? A summary on corporate sustainability

  • 1. 2013: What happened? A YOUR HEADING Summary on Corporate HERE Sustainability 10.05.2011
  • 2. ‘Tone from the top’ is key for Sustainability culture★ • Companies where top management takes the lead are more aware and prepared to address sustainability risks • Sustainability becomes more embedded in corporate strategy and governance where CEO’s report to the board on these issues • Involvement of the C-suite underlines growth of corporate sustainability as a strategic differentiator
  • 3. Customers are pushing the agenda • Pushing the agenda – for example on environmental and working conditions • Growing interest on product sourcing • Demand for transparency and engagement
  • 4. Governments • Failure by governments to take the lead- from annual UN-led climate summits (COPs) ; 2012 Rio Summit • Pessimism over governments failure to take action on planets biggest challenges • Risk of sovereign bonds being further impacted by threatened or depleted natural resources
  • 5. Increasing role of NGOs to press for change • NGO’s increasingly have stepped into the void created by government failure to take action • Greater push by NGOs for transparency and accountability. For example, the Carbon Disclosure Project pushing companies to disclose carbon footprints and water risks • Greater campaigning on human rights issues
  • 6. Stock exchanges awaken to sustainability • NASDAQ OMX founding member of Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative • Johannesburg Stock Exchange requires more than 450 companies to produce integrated report • Brazilian exchange BM&FBOVESPA adopted a comply and explain policy in 2012
  • 7. Shareholders beginning to have their say • Growth of shareholder proposals on social and environmental risks- E&Y report they now account for 40% of shareholder proposals • Focusing on energy consumption and how companies are addressing greenhouse gas emissions reductions • Other inquiries cover publishing a sustainability report and working conditions/ human rights issues
  • 8. Mandatory reporting increases • Major changes to reporting in the UK. • All companies (except small ones) to produce a strategic report • Listed companies to include human rights in their non-financial KPIs • Green house gas emissions reporting now mandatory for listed companies • EU proposal on Mandatory disclosure of nonfinancial risks Directive
  • 9. More rigorous reporting standards • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) new G4 standard published: geared towards materiality • Integrated Reporting-new framework published with focus on information for investors • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)- US-non-profit aims to develop comprehensive set of disclosure standards for US companies filing their SEC Reports • Climate Disclosure Standards Board(CDSB)guidance on GHG reporting
  • 10. Natural resource shortages a growing concern • Extreme weather (floods, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires) • Environmental realities( overfishing, clearcutting) • Social and political issues (conflict minerals, waste) • Underground water sources at risk- demand for water expected to increase an d world to fact 40% shortfall by 2030★
  • 11. Supply chains still key • Growing interest in supply chain and product sourcing from consumers • Sustainable procurement increasingly setting scorecards for suppliers • Critical to long term reputation of companies
  • 12. Corporate risk management framework not paired with sustainability risk • Companies are still failing to incorporate sustainability into risk management • Translates into lack of preparedness • Failure to anticipate key tipping points as growing interconnectedness of issues • Lack of disclosure in shareholder or regulatory disclosure
  • 13. Drive for energy innovation continues • Overall global investment in renewable energy was down in 2013 • Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft continues to make huge commitments this year • Clean Energy IPOs made a comeback • Greening the existing power infrastructure continued
  • 14. Employee leverage • Large scale change driven by driving sustainability throughout an organisation • Linking sustainability to performance management and working with key groups, such as human resources
  • 15. Company claims v external verification • Majority of consumers and customers want third party verification of green claims • Increasing ISO standards for eco-labels and management systems
  • 16. ISO standards becoming more ‘strategic’ • ISO20121- focus on internal and external risks of a company • ISO14001 –being revised to include understanding the organisation’s strategic context and engagement with interested parties • BS8900 –focus on sustainability at a strategic level

Editor's Notes

  1. See Ernst and Young survey in cooperation with Greenbiz Group (2013)
  2. ★Ernest and young report, page 21http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Six_growing_trends_in_corporate_sustainability_2013/$FILE/Six_growing_trends_in_corporate_sustainability_2013.pdf