ESG & Sustainability

For a sustainable future, you must change for good

To become a sustainable business, you need to do things differently

The world has changed. Your people want to be part of something worthwhile, get behind something they believe in. Your customers and investors expect you to behave ethically in how you treat people and the planet. It’s not enough to turn a profit. You must make a difference.

If you want to deliver on the promise of your ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and sustainability strategy, then change is not just inevitable; it’s vital. And for truly successful ESG and sustainability transformation, you need to define your purpose, then develop the skills, talent, leaders and culture you need to achieve it.

People make that happen. They are the catalyst for changing your organization for good. For our society, for our planet and the prosperity of all.

It all starts with five questions. We can help you answer them.

How we can help

We’ll work with you, not only to shape your ESG and sustainability strategy but to develop and articulate an action plan that organizes and activates your people to deliver on your ESG objectives.

We'll help you:

Build board capability and ESG governance mechanisms

Becoming ESG-enabled starts at the top with the board having the right capabilities and governance mechanisms to oversee, enable and support ESG.

We draw on our proven approach to Board Effectiveness to help you:

Build board capability:

  • Educate your board members on key ESG issues
  • Align your board around your ESG priorities and define their purpose
  • Ensure that you have the right board composition and structure – achieving a strategic balance of relevant backgrounds, skills and experiences
  • Build the right culture, team dynamics and relationships within the board as well as processes and team norms to ensure they are as effective as possible

Put in place governance mechanisms:

  • Assign responsibility and accountability for ESG to the board and management
  • Put in place the right progress checks, monitoring and disclosure of accomplishments and milestones

Set ESG goals and reinforce them through executive compensation

What gets measured, gets done. Setting the right goals and putting in place the appropriate reinforcement mechanisms will be critical to delivering on your ESG goals.

We’ll work with you to honestly assess the importance of the ESG strategy to the organization and articulate what you intend to accomplish and by when. We’ll identify who will be responsible and held accountable for success. We’ll partner with you to put in place short- and long-term executive goals and we’ll restructure or rebalance your executive annual and long-term incentives to include ESG objectives.

Empower sustainable leaders at the senior level to drive ESG strategy

Senior leaders are responsible for developing, communicating, and executing ESG & Sustainability strategy. Their words and everyday actions are critical to infusing purpose and ESG objectives into the organization’s culture.

For senior leaders to do this well, they need to have an Enterprise Leader mindset. Enterprise leaders can run the business while changing the business. They lead across the enterprise and ecosystem to create value for a broad range of stakeholders.

Korn Ferry has developed a researched and proven profile of an Enterprise Leader which identifies the capabilities and mindsets needed to succeed. Drawing on our strong Executive Search expertise and deep leadership assessment and development capabilities we can help you find external candidates with the right profile, while simultaneously developing Enterprise Leadership capabilities in your existing leaders.

Embed ESG commitments into your operating model and structure

Many organizations will need to make changes to their operating model and organization structure to deliver on their ESG and sustainability goals. Given the need for leaders to exert influence across the ecosystem, it is likely that organizational structures will become flatter and more interconnected. Employees will need to collaborate in different ways and perform more complex work which means roles, job descriptions and career paths will inevitably change.

Backed by our deep understanding of work and people and enabled by our benchmarking data and AI tools, we’ll help you develop the operating model, structures and roles to support your ESG and broader business strategies as well as your purpose and the capabilities and culture required to deliver.

Acquire and develop talent for a sustainable future

Fulfilling your ESG ambitions is only possible with the right people. And a new operating model will mean new ways of working, new roles and new skills. 

We’ll work with you to find, assess and develop your talent at scale. We’ll:

  • Identify the talent you need.
    By bringing together your own insights with market intelligence and Korn Ferry owned data we’ll give you a complete picture of the talent you need to deliver on your ESG strategy.
  • Assess the talent you have
    We’ll tell you who in your organization has the potential to deliver in your goals, suggest how you can move your talent around to meet your new needs and identify the gaps.
  • Close the gap
    We’ll tell you where you can find the people you need and work with you to recruit great candidates at every level. And we’ll upskill your current workforce at scale – addressing both the skillsets and the mindsets they will need to succeed.

Champion inclusive talent management and rewards programs

Building an inclusive organization that delivers the right employee experience and where sustainability goals are transparent and rewarded, is central to living and delivering on your ESG goals.  Education on the importance of ESG is also critical.

We’ll help you develop inclusive behaviors in your leaders and individual contributors. And we’ll work with you to transform the system itself, reshaping talent processes and rewards to ensure they are fair and equitable and drive the right behaviors and outcomes.

Create a sustainable culture and make change stick

Culture is a shared set of beliefs that provide the organization and its employees with purpose and direction. You will lose hearts and minds if you try and transform your organization without transforming your culture.

We've pulled everything we know about organizational psychology and human behavior into our proven Culture 360 approach. It helps you assess, define, design and nurture the culture needed for success rather than waiting for culture to “catch up” to the change. It provides an edge to purpose-driven companies who are committed to sustainably and ESG.

Communicate the plan and progress to all stakeholders

There is no one-size-fits all approach to communicating to the diverse set of stakeholders involved in ESG. Each has their own agenda, expectations and needs. From shareholders, investors and regulators to employees, customers, the community and suppliers

We’ll help you prioritise the needs and concerns of your stakeholders and design the best communication strategy to meet them where they are.

Let us be part of your success story

Contact us and see how our business transformation services can help.

Talk to an ESG & Sustainability expert