In modern business, Corporate Secretaries are key managerial personnel occupying pivotal positions in their companies. They have a central role in fostering good governance practices and supporting the development of highly functioning Boards. As sustainability has become a business imperative, it is essential that boards provide stewardship and oversight over a company’s sustainability performance. The Role of the Corporate Secretary in Sustainability Governance provides an overview of how governance professionals can support the board’s emerging “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) mandate.
The Role of the Corporate Secretary in Sustainability Governance summarizes the key drivers of this trend, including:
- Board awareness of the materiality of the risks and opportunities from sustainability trends
- Active and engaged shareholders
- Broadening of fiduciary duty to include long-term and stakeholder perspectives
The Role of the Corporate Secretary in Sustainability Governance is a practical guide to the steps a corporate secretary can take to embed sustainability in the board’s mandate. These opportunities range from ensuring the board receives sustainability education, to adding sustainability to board agendas, to encouraging the board to consider sustainability competencies as a factor in director recruitment, and helping the board to integrate sustainability into board committee mandates.
The Role of the Corporate Secretary in Sustainability Governance also offers a checklist for boards and governance committees which are updating their governance models to take sustainability into account in board decision-making. A case study of Goldcorp’s sustainability governance program provides a practical example of how a corporate secretary can help the board improve its corporate governance and bring additional value to the organization.
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