Corporate Leadership for the 21st Century: Sustainability Experience Required

Oct 21, 2010 7:19 AM ET

You will soon find that no corporate board will hire a CEO or elect a new board member who doesn't have experience in environmental sustainability and social issues. Why would I say this? And where would a corporate person gain personal experience in environmental and social issues?

Sustainability and CSR are moving onto CEO and board agendas

There are clear signs that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not only on the CEO's agenda, but it's also moving onto the board of director's agenda. Already, 65% of the Standard & Poor's 100 companies have board committees with oversight of corporate responsibility issues. This information, from a new study from Calvert Investments and The Corporate Library, also indicates that "many investors have come to believe that these issues [environmental and social] have implications for capital investments, corporate strategy, brand, and reputation." Among the study's key findings and recommendations to investors is "to urge companies of all sizes to establish oversight of environmental and social issues."

Further evidence of corporations focusing on sustainability comes from the new book, Sustainable Excellence. Authors Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell tell the story "of how sustainability is now front and center when many companies make the most important decisions about their futures."

See continuation here on Fast Company...

Korngold Consulting LLC assists corporations in building fully integrated, high-impact CSR strategies, including leadership development through nonprofit board service.  Korngold Consulting trains and places business executives on nonprofit boards, and consults to nonprofit boards and leaders to strengthen governance for financial and strategic success.