Sustainability committees: Are they the answer to ESG overwhelm?

Today, CGIUKI launches it latest thought leadership: Governing sustainability: Are sustainability committees the answer?

 This research is intended to support organisations across different sectors to oversee sustainability and ESG issues more effectively at board level. It is based on a cross-sectoral survey of 130 governance professionals, interviews with governance leads in 26 different organisations, and an analysis of board committees among the FTSE 100. Its key learnings are distilled into 10 tips for sustainability committee success.

 It covers:

  • Why sustainability committees at board level are becoming more popular
  • The pros and cons of a dedicated committee at board level
  • The remit and duties of these committees
  • Avoiding duplication of work with other committees
  • Why the names of these committees matter – and why they vary so much
  • Committee composition and membership
  • The governance professional’s role in sustainability
  • What the sustainability skillset looks like for boards and how to develop it.

 Launched at our ESG Summit on 2 May 2024, this research follows on from our model terms of reference for sustainability or ESG committees. These terms were published at the end of January at the suggestion of the FRC. To create them, we interviewed dozens of different organisations (many with a committee, and some without) about how they structured their governance of sustainability. Their feedback and insights were invaluable – and raised many interesting questions about sustainability oversight which we felt were important to answer. This led to the creation of our thought leadership paper.

This research report, combined with our model terms of reference, will support organisations across all sectors to better understand – and overcome – the challenges of overseeing sustainability, with or without a board-level committee.

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