For leaders and organizations, the pressure to deliver sustainability results — and to meet the demands of ESG reporting — is relentlessly on the rise.

Stakeholders – including investors, supply chain partners, regulators, consumers, communities and employees – are pushing for more and better performance across a wide range of sustainability parameters. They expect ESG metrics that are transparent and that reflect the impact of sustainability initiatives on corporate performance.

To respond effectively, leaders must confront an array of challenges. They must determine how to set sustainability priorities, how to balance sustainability goals against the need to deliver short-term financial results, and how to ensure alignment among multiple stakeholders both internal and external. Leaders must also deliver a sustainability vision to the organization, create a culture of sustainability that attracts and retains talent, and — most fundamentally — make sustainability integral to the organization’s mission.

Our mission at L.E.K. Consulting is to help leaders navigate their most critical challenges. Sustainability and ESG reporting are high on the list. In recent months, we surveyed leaders about the sustainability issues they face — including lack of internal alignment and difficulty of managing multiple goals and stakeholder interests. And we have mapped consumer sentiment about sustainability across a range of industries.

  • Daniel Hart, EVP, Chief Legal and Risk Officer and Deanna Bratter, VP, Global Head of Sustainability, Crocs Inc.
  • John C. Turner, President and CEO, Gypsum Management and Supply, Inc. (GMS)
  • Chris Davies, Group Chief Financial Officer, National Express Group
  • Brian Lowe, Managing Director and CEO, Orora Limited
  • Warren East CBE, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce plc
  • Christopher R. Griffin, President and Chief Executive Officer, USG Corporation
  • Rebecca Dunn, Head of Sustainability, Spectris plc

We asked them for their perspectives on sustainability. And we drilled down on their particular challenges and opportunities — integrating sustainability and culture, creating stakeholder alignment, and leveraging sustainability to drive innovation and competitive advantage. To read the full Q&As of all seven executives above, please click on the download link at the top of the page.

We believe their insights will resonate — and hope that their approaches to sustainability will provide useful models for leaders everywhere who are working to deliver sustainability programs and ESG reporting that achieve the high standards that stakeholders expect in 2022.

Editor’s note: The interviews that we conducted with these executives are part of a broader, comprehensive Global Corporate Sustainability Survey 2022, a major survey of 400 C-Suite executives in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Learn more.

Sustainability Week: Countdown to COP27
John Goddard
Watch John Goddard as he shares his perspectives on how companies can overcome the challenges in delivering sustainability and ESG goals and strategies at the Economist's Sustainability Week Conference.

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