Designing Your Company’s Sustainability Report

Climate change, sustainability, and ESG considerations are increasingly taking center stage in corporate boardrooms across the world. When measuring and communicating corporate sustainability performance through sustainability reports or ratings, executives face a rapidly evolving and complex set of choices. As a result, companies are at risk of falling behind or choosing inappropriate reports and ratings that don’t drive sustainability performance and open the door to … [ Read more ]

David Young, Martin Reeves

New business insights can come from changing perspectives on the company’s boundaries, resources, and time horizons. We suggest laying out the whole of the supply chain, the cradle to grave of the product life cycle, the adjacent business ecosystem, and all relevant stakeholders. Take a systems perspective to see the full ecosystem and market dynamics at work. Within this expanded business context, understand where issues … [ Read more ]

The corporation in the 21st century

Shifts in how businesses create value and how it flows to households highlight the changing role of the corporation.

Sebastian Leape, Jinchen Zou, Olivia Loadwick, Robin Nuttall, Matt Stone, Bruce Simpson

A useful framing, we find, is to compare the breadth of ESG with the uniqueness of purpose. ESG encompasses society’s wide range of expectations about the role of business. There are a multitude of ESG options, requirements, and variations—from community service to inclusivity, transparency in reporting, and waste management, to name just a few. Purpose, on the other hand, helps your firm prioritize from among … [ Read more ]

The Secrets of Sustainability Front-Runners

Every enterprise is finding that its space for business as usual is increasingly constrained by the planet’s environmental limits, by broader social and economic needs, and by rising stakeholder demands. Consequently, in addition to addressing all the traditional factors defining competition, company strategies now need to explicitly confront the dynamic socio-environmental externalities of the business. From their impacts on climate to the communities where they … [ Read more ]

The Quest for Sustainable Business Model Innovation

We have argued that corporations should Optimize for Both Social and Business Value, using their core businesses to deliver the financial returns expected by their owners and, in tandem, to help society meet its most significant challenges. To do so, we suggest that leaders reimagine corporate strategy by creating new modes of differentiation, embedding societal value into products and services, reimagining business models for sustainability, … [ Read more ]

Three Ways Digitalisation Changes Corporate Responsibility

The Fourth Industrial Revolution changes the ‘who’, ‘whom’ and ‘what’ of corporate responsibility.

From Principle to Practice: Making Stakeholder Capitalism Work

Just as with other business priorities, stakeholder capitalism is a matter of execution. Here are five steps to get it right.

How to Tell If Your Business Model Is Creating Environmental and Societal Benefits

BCG identifies six dimensions of environmental and societal impact, all with implications for employees and for external stakeholders, including investors, customers, suppliers, and society.

Jeremy Darroch

Every business takes from the environment. We get access to resources, roads, infrastructure, and education. So it’s only right that we have a mind-set that we give back, we replenish as well as consume. And we use our voice to try to make a difference.

How to Tell If Your Business Model Is Truly Sustainable

How can companies assess which business model changes will enable the company to become genuinely more resilient and sustainable over time? We believe our insights from researching Sustainable Business Model Innovation (SBM-I) can help answer that question. Crossing all industries and geographies, our research analyzed more than 100 business models through which companies delivered both business value and environmental and societal benefits. We tested each … [ Read more ]

ESG Impact Is Hard to Measure — But It’s Not Impossible

ESG measurement is an increasingly popular way of holding companies accountable when it comes to sustainability efforts, and of giving companies an incentive to improve them. But measurement, no matter how sophisticated, is much better at capturing easily quantifiable inputs than complex and messy outcomes and impacts. Companies need to do everything they can to understand those outcomes and impacts — and that requires doing … [ Read more ]

The Case for Stakeholder Capitalism

Consumers and society at large are expecting more from business. Embracing these responsibilities can help shareholders, too.

How to Measure a Company’s Real Impact

Companies have always caused “externalities” — benefits for society for which they are not fully compensated and costs on society which they don’t have to fully pay for. A major change in global business in recent years is that these externalities are becoming increasingly rare — what was once extraneous to a business is increasingly affecting corporate revenues, costs, and risk profiles. This is a … [ Read more ]

Quantify Your Company’s Impact on People

Much attention has been paid to measuring companies’ impact on the environment. But when it comes to impacts on people, there has been far less scrutiny, standardization, and innovation in the data used to evaluate which businesses are ‘getting it right’ than we see in the environmental field. The current state-of-the-art involves just scanning for words in corporate-issued documents. This is inadequate. Instead, we should … [ Read more ]

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller

There are many trade-offs that company managers struggle to make, in which neither a shareholder nor a stakeholder approach offers a clear path forward. This is especially true when it comes to issues affecting people who aren’t immediately involved with the company. These so-called externalities—perhaps most prominently, a company’s carbon emissions affecting parties that otherwise have no direct contact with the company—can be extremely challenging … [ Read more ]

Wallace Donham

We need in business and politics administrators who are able not only to handle their specialized problems well, but also to see things in wide relations and do their part in maintaining society’s stability and equilibrium.

Five Ways That ESG Creates Value

Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.

Martin Parker

The problem is that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are subjects used as window dressing in the marketing of the business school, and as a fig leaf to cover the conscience of B-school deans – as if talking about ethics and responsibility were the same as doing something about it. They almost never systematically address the simple idea that since current social and economic … [ Read more ]