Coro’s Blog: On Purpose
Introducing the Modern, ESG-Fluent Boardroom
Published on July 8, 2022
The status quo is being upended. The foundations of our economy and society are being challenged and society is calling into question the purpose of the economy and the purpose of the organization. We are in the throes of a paradigm shift in business and organizations as society grapples with how nine billion people can live well in harmony with nature and each other over the next decade. Boards are in the epicentre of these changes. Leading boards reimagine their operations to serve not only their organizations but also to serve society. They are the architects of the modern boardroom.
Until recently, boards have singularly focused on shareholder returns as the arbiter of success. ESG (environment, social and governance) has been out of sight, out of mind, off-limits, and therefore out of accountability and decision-making (with thanks to Dr. Victoria Hurth for this framing). But all that is changing, and fast.
This recent report “Becoming Fluent in ESG Governance: Putting Inclusion, Purpose, and Climate Governance into Action” which summarizes a national conference hosted by Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) unpacks many of these changes and is a must-read for boards and executives and those who advise them. It is the modern governance playbook. Being fluent in ESG is no longer something that just brings added value to the company, but rather is an imperative to thrive in the business world.
Here are my takeaways on ESG governance fluency, drawn from this modern governance playbook and from being moderator of the national GPC conference.