Nowadays most companies have sustainability programs. They are cutting carbon emissions, reducing waste, nurturing their talents and workforce, and otherwise enhancing operational efficiency. But a mishmash of sustainability tactics does not add up to a sustainable and impactful strategy. To endure and be effective, a strategy must address first, and then manage, the complex and unfolding relationships between the shareholders and all the other stakeholders along the value creation process that characterize every organization.Companies understand this, but too often they approach this journey by launching programs with the hope that they will be financially rewarded for “doing good,” even when the issues they address are not relevant to their strategy and operations. Largely missing from these efforts is a clear understanding of the very real trade-offs that exist between financial and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance when sustainability is integrated in the business models. The capital markets know this only too well. As a result, they don’t reward firms for ESG programs that are not material for the Business, and they tend to punish those whose programs—relevant or not—depress financial results. Building on previous events in Rome (2016 and 2018) and in New York (2017), the objective of the Workshop is to engage business organizations, investors, policy-makers, NGOs, professional bodies, consultants, and academics in conversations around creating long-term value through integrated management of economic, environmental, social and governance factors. Making sustainable and impactful strategy happen requires companies to align purpose with performance. It requires to connect values and value through the implementation of inclusive business models where materiality fuels processes of innovation as organizations move from “Business as Usual” to BUSINESS2030.
The aim the Workshop in Rome is to provide a forum to discuss critical issues related to how Sustainable and Impactful Strategy can be executed by building a bridge between corporate Purpose and Materiality with Innovation and Performance. Among others, the topics to be discussed include:
- What is the difference between Strategies of Sustainability and Sustainable Strategy?
- What are the Executives’ and the Board’s view on Sustainable and Impactful Strategy?
- How to align Corporate Purpose to materiality and business model?
- How can Sustainable and Impactful Strategy contribute to the achievement of the SDGs?
- What is a business sense of purpose? And what is the role of organizational leaders?
- How is Corporate Purpose articulated, measured, and implemented within organizations?
- How does the embrace of corporate purpose and Integrated Thinking improve the performance of the business and its ability to generate long-term sustainable value?
- How can capital markets and investors incorporate respect for Integrated Thinking about business and sustainable/impactful strategies?
- What kinds of political or institutional shifts might contribute to building an integrated and inclusive society focused on rewarding the alignment of corporate purpose with sustainable strategy?
- What is the impact of sustainable finance in managing and funding sustainable business?
- How to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return?
- What “paradigm shift” (if any) is required to move from sustainability to impact evaluation?
- How to make impact evaluation strategic? What is the competitive advantage of adopting an impact-based strategy in doing business?
- How is impact currently assessed and managed?
- What is the role (if any) that Academia wishes (is expected) to play in the making of purposeful businesses and prosperous societies?
Download the slide of the conference
The investor revolution – Robert G. Eccles
Integration of Sustainability within the Core Business: Opportunities and Trends – Riccardo Giovannini