Is sustainability in business still a publicity or marketing initiative? Does financial profitability always have to come first. Read the latest thinking from European Business Group Leaders.
Mazars, the international accountancy and advisory firm, and ecoDa, the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations, held a series of roundtables in late 2019 and early 2020 across a range of key European capital markets. They brought leading directors and investors together to discuss how they can have an effective dialogue, based on a mutual commitment to promoting sustainable success for the benefit of their stakeholders and wider society.
The roundtables were organised in co-operation with EFAMA, the representative body of the European investment management industry in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK.
This publication draws on the discussion at the various roundtables to highlight the progress made by the European business community on the adoption of a sustainable approach to business and the current challenges faced and, having regard to these, maps out a direction for reform.
Making the journey to being truly sustainable, in environmental, social and financial terms will be one of the defining issues for boards in the coming years. For some the transition will be tough, and there will be bends and dips in the road but putting off seriously moving down the road- and at a reasonable speed- is no longer an option
It is imperative for responsible boards to plan ahead and consider the risks posed by non-financial aspects to the business including those related to their business model. The Covid-19 crisis has challenged and put business models to the test. It has also given new impetus to sustainability and is seen by many as a call for change. Manoeuvring the transition period will require sound reporting of non-financial as much as financial aspects. Necessary changes to achieve this must be put in place without delay.