Inaugural LEAD Symposium to Address Role of Corporate Boards in Achieving Sustainability

LEAD Companies Meet to Develop Comprehensive Guidelines for Corporate Boards in Developing Sustainability Strategy and Implementation

(Atlanta) – Global Compact LEAD participants gathered in Atlanta today for the platform’s inaugural symposium to explore a central dimension of achieving sustainable business success: the link between corporate governance and sustainability.

Launched in January 2011 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Global Compact LEAD is a new platform for Global Compact participants committed to take environmental, social and governance performance to the next level and set a new benchmark for corporate sustainability performance. The inaugural class of Global Compact LEAD participants includes 54 companies from around the world.

Specific topics addressed at the symposium included the unique role and responsibilities that boards play in overseeing corporate sustainability; the importance of board structure and composition in integrating sustainable business practices; and how boards can better collaborate with investors and business schools to shape and roll out successful sustainability programmes. Representatives from UN Principles for Responsible Investment and UN Principles for Responsible Management Education provided key insights into preparing boards to meet growing investor demand for oversight and the need for board-level sustainability training.

“The fact that LEAD has chosen board adoption and oversight as the theme of its first Symposium represents the critical role that corporate boards play in aligning governance practices with social and environmental performance,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “We expect that the experiences and challenges shared today will lead to comprehensive solutions that all companies can implement in addressing global challenges.”

LEAD Symposia offer a unique opportunity for member companies and invited guests to explore advanced solutions to specific components of the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, a comprehensive roadmap to sustainability excellence introduced by the Global Compact in 2010. The symposia seek to enable vibrant, cutting-edge discussions, leaving participants more knowledgeable, motivated and capable of innovation in the field of corporate sustainability.

Media Contact

Matthias Stausberg
Spokesperson, UN Global Compact