Over the last few years, sustainable investing has reached a tipping point. Evidence has shown that companies that manage environmental, social and governance issues well have better financial performance over the long term; driving interest in more responsible behavior from the investor community. Over the same period, companies have had to rethink their relationships with a range of stakeholders including employees, customers, civil society organizations and the public. Companies are being drawn into taking positions on a range of social issues such as immigration, human rights, environmental justice and wider questions of ethics. All this raises profound questions about whether maximizing shareholder value is the primary role of the corporation, and if not, how companies can evaluate and respond to calls for more socially responsible behavior.
The Sustainable Development Goals provide a global, consistent framework for understanding and measuring sustainable development which can help companies to evaluate and assess their strategies with an explicit focus on their impact on society – both positive and negative. This talk will also explore how global companies are responding to these dynamics via new approaches to corporate governance, risk management, human rights and approaches to build more ethical, sustainable organizational cultures.