The Sustainable Business Council (SBC), in association with KPMG New Zealand (KPMG), are helping boards and executive
management improve their understanding of sustainability and drive strategic responses to the rapidly changing economic
and environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges facing organisations today.
The practical “Creating Sustainable Value from Good Governance” guidance was launched today, in response to the director community wanting to go further in embracing sustainability
within their organisations, their communities, and the wider NZ Inc. At a special business leader’s breakfast held at
KPMG’s offices in Auckland, 60 CEOs and directors heard from keynote speaker Sir Jonathon Porritt (Founder of ‘Forum for
the Future’) and directors Jane Taylor (Chair of NZ Post) and Rob Campbell (Chair of SKYCITY Entertainment).
Climate change, plastic waste, the future of work and rising inequality are among a growing number of sustainability
challenges that can affect company reputations and financial performance if left unaddressed. “Sustainability matters to me because it is fundamental to business success. To survive and grow over the long term, organisations must create value for the business and for society” says Jane Taylor.
Responding to the need for greater transparency
Growing investor, regulator and consumer expectations are placing greater scrutiny on business performance and the
transparency of decision-making in relation to sustainability risks. Overseas, sustainability is already central to a
board’s role and responsibilities. Here in New Zealand momentum is rapidly building, following the release of the
revised NZX Corporate Governance Code and the FMA’s Good Corporate Governance handbook, which now include ESG disclosure
requirements. “In our view, consideration of ESG factors is an important part of a listed company’s approach to corporate governance.
It supports long-term value creation, and is another tool companies can use to communicate their strategy and broader
business opportunities and challenges to investors," says Hamish Macdonald, General Counsel and Head of Policy, NZX Ltd.
Bringing strategic thinking to decision-making
“Corporate governance has always been a way to bring new thinking to decision-making” says Robert Perry (Sustainable Leadership Manager - SBC). Leading organisations are embedding sustainability in an
integrated way to navigate new challenges and to foresee and adapt to changing sustainability risks in order to maximise
long-term value for the organisation and society. “Embracing sustainability helps organisations shape strategy, manage risk and ensure long-term viability and business
growth”. Robert encourages organisations navigating their way through the complexities of sustainability to access the guide.
The role of boards in sustainability is a sentiment echoed by Erica Miles (Director – Sustainable Value, KPMG). “Boards have a key role, and indeed a responsibility, to bring sustainability risks and opportunities to the forefront
of corporate strategy thereby ensuring their organisations are proactively responding to the needs of all their
stakeholders,” says Erica Miles.
You’ll find a copy of the guide ‘Creating Sustainable Value from Good Governance’ at www.sbc.org.nz/resources/guides
SOURCE: KPMG and SBC