The ecological imperative, the growing expectations of customers and employees, and financial market preference for companies with a sustainable business strategy are all reasons to place sustainability at the top of the executive committee’s agenda.
While it is now widely accepted that sustainable strategies create shareholder value, it is far from obvious which initiatives hold the most promise. Indeed, these initiatives are becoming more and more numerous, varied and often difficult to prioritise regarding the impact on value creation for both the company’s shareholders and society.
It is difficult to reconcile the objective of creating shareholder value with maximising socio-environmental impact. The adoption of stakeholder governance by companies should help align the often-divergent interests of stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, environmental agencies, etc.), striking a fair balance between shareholder, customer, environmental and social value.
Across all sectors, customer and consumer purchasing behaviour is changing rapidly, requiring companies to make their product and service portfolios more sustainable. By doing so, they promote brand preference and, consequently, their growth and market capitalisation. Moreover, in order to attract and retain talent, companies should focus on the projects that matter most to employees: projects that redesign the offering and reduce the environmental footprint, while involving employees directly.