For a sustainable future, you must change for good

Organizations are increasingly going public with inspiring, well-intentioned commitments to sustainability. What they don’t often say is how they plan to deliver those commitments. While ESG priorities and actions are unique for every company, it’s their people who are fundamental to success in every case.

Why take action?

ESG & sustainability are on the boardroom agenda. Investors, shareholders, activists, lenders, regulators, customers and employees are asking questions and expecting answers.

The reality is that, unless organizations embrace the need to build ESG and sustainability into their strategy, they could struggle to attract funding from investors. There’s a strong chance they could lose customers, find it difficult to attract and retain employees, and ultimately risk the long-term sustainability of their business.

On the flip side, the same steps that were taken to cut carbon emissions and build inclusive organizations and societies can also help spur growth, reduce costs and promote stability. Organizations that deliver on their ESG promises can expect to:

  • Access larger pools of capital
  • Attract and retain the best talent
  • Build credibility and trust and enhance their brand and market reputation
  • Grow their customer base
  • Reduce costs
  • Grow their business

To get there, leaders will need to transform the way their organization operates. And no one can do that without their people.

Five people related ESG questions you need to answer

To become ESG-enabled, organizations need to ask and answer five critical people questions.

  1. Purpose: How important is ESG to us – why are we doing this, who are we trying to satisfy, what is our time horizon and how do we measure success?
  2. Governance: How does our board need to evolve to oversee, enable and support the delivery of our ESG strategy?
  3. Leadership & talent: How do we attract, develop and retain the leadership, talent and skills needed to drive our ESG strategy and outcomes?
  4. Operating model: How do we organize to deliver our ESG and sustainability strategy, including structure, work and platforms?
  5. Culture & mindset: How do we create the right culture and mindsets, engage our people and reinforce the right behaviors?

How Korn Ferry can help

At Korn Ferry we’re helping our clients realize their ambitions by taking a people focused approach to ESG and sustainability. Drawing on data, insights and expertise across the full breadth of our people solutions, we’re working with leaders to:

  • Build board capability around ESG and put in place ESG governance mechanisms
  • Set ESG goals and reinforce them through executive compensation
  • Find and develop leaders who can drive the ESG strategy forward
  • Embed ESG commitments into the operating model and organization structure
  • Find, assess and develop the talent to deliver on ESG commitments at scale
  • Champion inclusive talent management practices and rewards programs
  • Create a sustainable culture that will reinforce the right behaviors and mindsets.

How we are helping clients right now

We’re helping a global food retail company to increase the weight of ESG in their incentive programs for the Management Board, creating more focus in the short-term incentive and reshaping priorities for the long-term incentive.

We’re helping a global packaging and paper company develop and deploy an innovative and measurable purpose and well-being framework that connects to the company’s sustainability goals and broader business strategy.

We’re helping an electric and gas holding company build a pipeline of enterprise leaders that will deliver on their goal is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We’re helping a global investment company recruit their Chief Sustainability Officer and other senior appointments

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Let us be part of your success story

Get in touch with one of our experts to help you reach your ESG & sustainability goals.