How modern governance meets the ESG imperative

In this article Diligent discusses the shift of priorities for boards towards ESG concerns.

As a pioneer of modern governance, Diligent’s platform brings together disparate tools, data, integrations and processes into one secure place so board leaders can govern effectively at the ever-increasing pace of modern business. The platform is comprised of three solutions: board and leadership collaboration, operational governance and advanced governance analytics.

Together these tools deliver frequent, comprehensive information that helps directors to perform better and increase their knowledge and awareness of the company they serve and the environment it operates in. They allow boards to become fully digital, being securely accessible from any device, so they can embrace the transformation and reap the benefits of insight anywhere. And when governance is digitised from the top, it becomes easier to cascade the adoption of a digital approach to ESG measurement and monitoring down through the business.

Turning governance to competitive advantage

As Black Rock CEO Larry Fink pointed out in his 2021 letter to CEOs, there is growing evidence that the organisations which were already strong in ESG performance and monitoring have navigated the COVID-19 crisis better than less ESG-aware counterparts. A fuller understanding of the fragile ecosystem around a business and the non-financial factors affecting value creation appears to allow companies to respond more effectively to disruption and uncertainty. Consequently, ESG performance must no longer be siloed and viewed independently of other measures of corporate success; it is intrinsic to sustainable value creation.

It follows that governance can become a source of competitive advantage. The Diligent global network - of more than 19,000 organisations and 700,000 leaders in over 90 countries – aims to achieve just that through technology, process, and information innovation. Alongside this, programmes such as Diligent’s modern leadership initiative, for example, are focused on proactively addressing the lack of diversity among senior leaders by building a database of qualified director and C-Suite candidates from diverse backgrounds and connecting them to appointment opportunities worldwide. This will help organisations build the diverse boards that evidence shows are better custodians of long-term value creation.

Modern governance for a sustainable future

In the much-changed post-COVID-19 environment, stakeholder expectations of boards and senior leaders have grown and changed, as have those of the companies they serve. Adopting modern governance is an intelligent response to both the physical challenges of distributed ‘virtual’ directorship and the moral imperative to advance ESG awareness in businesses and stay informed on diverse and fast-changing issues.

By implementing the right technology, processes and insights, boards are better positioned to serve their business and wider society, providing robust, informed oversight during difficult times.

Diligent is the headline sponsor for this year's Governance 2021: The Next Chapter virtual conference.

Visit to learn how modern governance helps you outperform your peers and the competition.

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