EPISODE 30: Impact Thinking in the Boardrooms

The challenge for businesses now is combining reporting on sustainability and financial risk: Integrating the company’s impact on the world, with the world’s impact on the company, Martin Skancke and Turid Solvang says.

Sustainability and financial risk has formerly been two separate topics for corporate reporting.

This is changing.

«Investors are doing a lot more than just a few years ago. Sustainability is very high on the investor agenda», Martin Skancke says.

Integrating sustainability into the company’s strategy is crucial when boards are ensuring the business model is capable of long term profitability.

«Board directors are few in numbers, but they make the final decision on behalf of the companies they serve. Decisions that not only affects the shareholders, but all stakeholders and eventually the society in which the company operates», Turid Solvang stresses.

What competencies do the boards need to assure that their business operates inside the set planetary boundaries, and give long-term value for shareholders? One place to start is realising the sustainability reporting cannot be left out of the central business strategy.

«Historically, there’s been a siloed approach to this. Some people in the company are working on sustainability, that have primarily cared about how the company affects our external environment. We have had sustainability reports that address our CO2 emissions, and how we work on gender balance, water-related and other sustainability issues. So that’s lived its separate life. And then we have the CFOs and the people who prepare financial reports. And they think about risks, and they think about how the external environment affects the company», Skancke notes.

«I think the challenge now is to bring these together.»

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