Barriers to Board Engagement Sidebar Board Committees Responsibilities

Barriers to board engagement sidebar board committees

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Barriers to Board Engagement Sidebar: Board Committees’ Responsibilities Overcoming the Barriers 17 / Conclusion: The Path to Success Is Travelled With Others 20 / Appendix Success Factors For Collaboration The Survey: Questions and Responses 30 / Acknowledgments
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Sustainability has got to be something that we all care about. We need groups to collaborate that never have … everybody’s got to work together. We need to begin to manage this planet as if our life depended on it — because fundamentally, it does. — JASON CLAY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, WWF Sustainability is the primary moral and economic im- perative of the 21st century. It is one of the most important sources of both opportunities and risks for businesses. Nature, society and business are intercon- nected in complex ways that should be understood by decision makers. Most importantly, current incre- mental changes towards sustainability are not sufficient — we need a fundamental shift in the way companies and directors act and organise themselves. — MERVYN KING, CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATED REPORTING COUNCIL THE KING CODE OF GOVERNANCE 1 R E S E A R C H R E P O R T J O I N I N G F O R C E S
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Joining Forces Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability JOINING FORCES MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW 3 Introduction T he importance of sustainability as a business issue has steadily grown over the past two decades. Most businesses understand that their sustained success de- pends upon the economic, social and ecological contexts in which they operate. But the stability of those contexts can no longer be taken for granted. The physi- cal environment is becoming more unpredictable, a more interconnected global economy is altering social conditions, and technological innovation is trans- forming the nature of consumption and production. Corporate sustainability has evolved from expressing good intentions and looking for internal operational efficiencies to addressing critical business issues involving a complex network of stra- tegic relationships and activities. As sustainability issues have become more global and pivotal to success, companies are realizing that they can’t go it alone. Through their strategic networks, busi- ness can, and arguably must, tackle some of the toughest sustainability issues, such as access to stressed or nonrenewable resources, avoiding human rights violations in value chains 2 or moder- ating climate change. Given the implications of sustainability’s evolution within the corporate sector, we — MIT Sloan Management Review ( MIT SMR ) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) — focused this year’s research on the critical role of sustainability collaborations that address systemic issues, and on the role of the board of directors in guiding their companies’ sustainability efforts. To better under- stand these two topics, we surveyed nearly 3,800 managers and interviewed sustainability leaders from around the world (see About the Research, page 4).
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