In the wake of COP26, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are now major challenges that 21st-century board directors must address; and fast. Stewards of the Future: A Guide for Competent Boards, just published by Barlow Publishing as a Kindle ebook on Amazon, is an essential guide for boards and other senior executives on how to mitigate the risks posed by these issues and where they can seize the opportunities that they present.
Backed by wisdom from more than 100 experts from around the world, each chapter contains timely lessons from international case studies and a quiz so that readers can assess where their board stands. Helle Bank Jorgensen makes a compelling case boards must not only define their company’s purpose in society but ask the right questions of management on complex issues including climate change, ESG, corruption, cybersecurity, human trafficking and supply-chain resilience if they want long-term profits and sustainability.
Stewards of the Future has a powerful theme: the companies with the best chance of surviving and thriving in the climate crisis will be those guided by leaders who have the foresight, knowledge, and determination to tackle the challenges ahead.
Other key talking points include:
- ESG disclosures must meet the same robust standards as reports on financial performance
- For corporate boards, the focus is shifting from how a company’s activities impact climate to how climate change will hurt or help the company’s financial performance
- Upcoming ESG changes will be so significant that most companies will have to rethink their entire business model so boards must include younger and more diverse members
- Boards that fail to tackle climate change risk facing a wave of lawsuits, like those that engulfed asbestos manufacturers in the 1980s
- This transition to a net-zero or net-positive economy may create the greatest commercial opportunities in decades
- Cybersecurity is now a key business risk; companies will be judged on how well, and how proactively, they respond
Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer at Starbucks, is a huge fan of the book. “Helle Bank Jorgensen brilliantly describes the evolution of ESG to its current place of prominence in boardrooms and makes a powerful case for how it will drive value creation,” he said. “[It’s a] must-read for all directors and executives seeking to navigate these turbulent times.”Back To News & Views