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To be sustainable, companies may need to change their products, processes, and business models to operate within defined economic, environmental, and social thresholds.
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A strong governance with a steady hand assures that a company achieves a given purpose properly, within the boundaries of ethics and law.
Companies that want to leverage their business practice to support the SDGs need to do so in an effective, ambitious, and conscientious way.
The investor community increasingly demands that companies share their long-term plans, which they can orient around growth, strategy, and acknowledgment of risks.
In the wake of documented Russian manipulation of the U.S. election via disinformation campaigns on social media platforms, digital platform companies like Facebook and Twitter need to take concrete steps to prevent misuse.
Democracy is fundamental to business interests — yet business leaders have been mostly silent when it comes to the recent cyberattacks on elections in the U.S. and other western democracies. This needs to change, and fast.
Companies that seek to meet the challenge of operating both profitably and sustainably can benefit by learning which sectors have the most impact on sustainable development goals.
It’s possible that humankind has created complex, systemic problems that exceed our human capacity to solve them. Some companies, particularly the tech giants, are recognizing this possibility and looking to AI as a tool for solving environmental and social problems. One of these companies is Microsoft. In December 2017, it committed $50 million to its new “AI for Earth” program to fund innovators who are making progress in four critical areas — climate change, water, agriculture, and biodiversity.
AI’s most potent, long-term economic value may lie not in the thousands of new startups, but in the ability of AI to augment the discovery and pursuit of basic scientific advances that could be the foundations of new industry.
Digitalization and sustainability are two of the most powerful market influences in the current business landscape. Each will change management practice, and more broadly, business and society. What happens when the two trends start influencing one another?
The old story of business says that maximizing shareholder profit is goal number one. The new story says that shareholders matter, but not more than other stakeholders — which include customers, suppliers, employees, other financiers, and the communities in which companies operate.
As digital technology advances, the opportunity to use it to create a more sustainable, equitable world should not be overlooked. The first step: Define key terms and set up a framework for understanding how the digital revolution can also become a revolution for sustainable development.
As the effects of climate change become more prominent, business needs to grapple with its own attitudes toward government. A more destructive physical environment requires a more nuanced relationship in which government is viewed as a partner in enabling and supporting markets rather than as a regulator that needs to be managed.
It’s not smart to base any part of your strategy on what you see in the rear-view mirror — and that’s particularly true when you develop strategies for navigating modern, thorny environmental and social challenges. The norms and expectations about how companies manage sustainability issues are shifting fast: Just six years ago, only 20% of the S&P 500 companies produced sustainability reports, while by 2016, 82% did. Change is coming to business — and executives need to adjust.
Meeting the recommendations for disclosure put forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures might seem like a tough job. But if the oil & gas industry is any example, it’s not as difficult as some might imagine — and there are excellent reasons for corporate boards to consider it.
When an ethics scandal damaged the reputation of Swedish telecom giant Telia and led to the ouster of its top managers, the company’s incoming leadership took a radical new turn: Changing from a corporate strategy with sustainability programs to a sustainable strategy.
New factory audit processes help companies that outsource production to evaluate supplier performance in more depth, leading to more effective decision-making. Three key issues that hamper modern auditing — standardization, cost inflation, and fraud — are being mitigated by new systems that automate the inspection process while tailoring it to specific inputs. The result: analytical capabilities that go beyond the classic audit model.
Most CEOs have detailed long-term plans, which are often closely held secrets out of concern that competitive advantage may be undermined by detailed disclosure. Yet disclosing a long-term plan provides an opportunity to identify financially material sustainability issues and demonstrate how the company manages business-critical issues — information that’s valuable to investors.
Your company’s commitment to sustainability depends on finding sustainable suppliers. What if there aren’t any? Such situations may arise more often than not — so keeping your commitment to a sustainable supply chain may mean taking a long view by making incremental improvements and encouraging suppliers to examine and change their own practices.
The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord stems from a fundamental disagreement over whether industries and markets have world-changing power. The irony: Despite his strong stance on market solutions, the President’s position on climate change assumes markets to be weaker, not stronger.
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