A practical guide to sustainability for boards and leadership teams

With societal expectations increasingly permeating corporate governance, companies need to evolve their business models to embrace lasting value creation that benefits not only the shareholders, but also internal and external stakeholders as well as wider society.

To support businesses, ecoDa and Mazars have joined forces to create this practical guide to help board members and leadership teams navigate their sustainability journey and achieve sustainable success. From why leaders should commit to fostering sustainability, to how to move to determined action, this guide offers a wide range of insights on what aspects to consider and what questions to discuss.

Using a practical approach, the guide addresses the importance of leadership and direction in sustainability efforts, and the increasing legal and regulatory responsibilities directors face in this area. It is intended for boards of listed and privately owned business, including those led by entrepreneurs or family business owners.

Download the practical guide for boards and leadership teams on sustainability below

ESG considerations are becoming a daily concern for both leadership teams and boards of directors. Engagement is the first step; however, it is vitally important to structure your approach to sustainability as a business, in order to meet your goals.

Leena Linnainmaa Chair of ecoDa

Seven critical success factors for a sustainable board and leadership team

Firstly, the guide offers insights on why directors and leadership teams should place sustainability high on their agenda, setting out seven critical success factors for directors to focus on in shaping the path ahead:

  • Leadership and tone from the top
  • Purpose led
  • Stakeholder-oriented
  • Strong organisation-wide culture of sustainability
  • Sustainability deeply embedded throughout the business
  • A learning approach
  • Openness in reporting

Key questions and practical next steps to tackle sustainability

The second section offers a series of questions designed to enable directors and leadership teams to identify areas where further action is needed, while the final section provides a tool to assess the stage at which a business is currently situated along their sustainability journey. 

By working through this practical guide, boards and leadership teams will be able to identify which changes will have the greatest impact and which they should prioritise to create a clear action plan, tailored to their business.

Businesses that attach sustainability as a critical success factor to their board agenda will be the ones that thrive in the future. It is not a matter of compliance or regulation, but an opportunity to create long term value for all stakeholders in your business. Whether businesses are not sure where to start or have already begun their sustainability journey, our guide offers practical, tangible support on achieving sustainable business success.

Gareth Jones (Partner) Partner and Global Head of Privately Owned Business at Mazars



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