By Ira Srivastava

1. 85% of companies view sustainability as a favourable driver of profits. According to Morgan Stanley’s “Sustainability Signals: Understanding Corporates’ Sustainability Priorities and Other Challenges”, companies are overwhelmingly in favour of sustainability measures. This is due to the belief that strong sustainability strategies will create profits in the future from higher revenue and lower cost of capital despite the high investment cost. This survey interviewed respondents from 300 companies around the world, and found that “85% of respondents… see sustainability as a value creation opportunity”. Finally, a staggering 92% of surveyed companies felt that climate change would affect their operations by the middle of this century, likely driving the interest in sustainability. 

2. Ibec Global publishes a guide for decision-making in the boardroom and beyond. Ibec Global’s “The Leader’s Gambit: A guide for decision-making”, intends to help executives address the issues of tomorrow such as sustainability, AI, and evolving regulations. Here are some key points:

  • Failing to address the S in ESG causes significant reputational damage and affects profitability. A new, younger generation of consumers, workplace changes due to COVID-19, and more and greater transparency expectations will impact businesses significantly.
  • Sustainability finance in the EU is expected to boom in response to the European Green Deal. New policies touch on sustainable finance, circularity, decarbonization regulations, and new reporting rules. Businesses must be proactive despite the high up-front cost of data collection and reporting to avoid consequences down the line.
  • A businesses’ sustainability profile is critical when operating in the EU, and stakeholders are increasingly more climate conscious. Changing with the times rather than resisting is key.
  • Climate litigation is a fast growing risk that companies need to prepare for, as the number of climate cases heard in courts nearly tripled between 2017 and 2022. 

3. Deloitte publishes the 13th annual Gen Z and Millennial Survey. For over a decade, Deloitte has published analysis on millennials — and more recently Gen Zs’ — outlooks on the economy, societal experiences, and the workplace. Here are some highlights from this year’s report:

  • Both millennials and Gen Z overwhelmingly named the cost of living crisis as their primary concern
  • Almost 90% of respondents shared that in order to feel satisfied in their jobs they needed a purpose, and they are likely to decline job offers from companies that go against their values
  • Environmental concerns are top of mind for these generations, and increased climate anxiety affects career and consumption decisions
  • These generations both value a strong balance between work and life, and are unwilling to work extremely long hours
  • Responses on the end of remote work are mixed, with some saying that they are more productive and less stressed at home while others report better engagement and collaboration in the office

4. Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce team up for carbon removal. Companies around the world are investing in nature-based carbon removals such as ecosystem restoration and tree planting. Google has recently launched Symbiosis, a collaborative effort between corporations “committed to use the latest science to scale high-quality carbon removal solutions” using natural solutions. In the past, nature-based carbon removal has been difficult to scale up due to the complexity and lack of clear tracking metrics of restoration. Symbiosis aims to address these issues. This initiative is a core aspect of Google’s plan to reach net zero emissions by the end of this decade. 

5. Canadian Purpose Economy Project releases Purpose Governance Guidelines. The Canadian Purpose Economy Project has published a framework for boards to lead with purpose and plan for the future. It centres around four key responsibilities: strategy and culture, performance management, reporting, and governance protocols. Each key responsibility has a list of questions for boards to use to assess their organization’s readiness. There are also case studies of prominent Canadian companies to show how these guidelines can be implemented practically. A number of Canadian governance organizations are incorporating these guidelines into their governance training and global guidelines are expected soon after. Find the full report here.

Ira Srivastava is Competent Boards’ Program Coordinator. Follow Competent Boards on LinkedIn.

Back To News & Views