It also can leave sustainability practitioners fighting for influence and voice, struggling to correct the misperception that sustainability is a reputational "nice-to-have" rather than an existential consideration. Your organization may wish to follow the example of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Being a Professional of Integrity – Business Ethics
The science-led biopharma has decided to merge safety, health and environment, compliance and sustainability into one team called Global Sustainability. Global Vice President Sustainability Jim Massey explained the decision: "This was driven by our innovative executive team. We are aiming to move from governance of risk to governance of our commitments. Bringing key stewardship functions under one roof of sustainability means we can move beyond defensive risk management and toward increasingly proactive consideration of what it means to be a responsible company.
From the sustainability perspective, incorporating sustainability into the enterprise risk management ERM process can be a critical step in building internal influence and ensuring that sustainability factors are built into senior decision-making. Although many companies have found that their top 10 business risks and top 10 sustainability issues have limited overlap , this is increasingly understood as a limitation in the risk management process overall, rather than a sign that sustainability and risk are fundamentally misaligned.
Traditional ERM processes may be too short-term and focused on direct financial risk to incorporate more systemic issues, such as income inequality and climate change, but there is increasing awareness that such issues present existential long-term risks.
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- Good to Great: Moving beyond compliance – Ruky Speaks Sustainability;
- A Review of Health Sector Aid Financing to Somalia (World Bank Working Papers) (World Bank Working Papers; Africa Human Development).
- Nutrition and Health in Developing Countries!
This recognition has led risk practitioners to focus more on "black swan" events, scenario planning and strategic foresight, with the goal of building enterprise resilience — tools that sustainability practitioners also would be wise to embrace. The new Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure reporting recommendations explicitly consider "transition risks," including policy developments and reputational risk, and argue that scenario planning is the best way to prepare, given the level of uncertainty.
Such approaches naturally bring sustainability front and center and drive alignment between the functions, while also encouraging the overall development of futures thinking across an organization. Broad, intersecting trends are driving convergence between sustainability and compliance across all industries. Regulation is becoming weaker or less consistent in a number of markets, and corporations are increasingly being expected to provide leadership on issues such as climate change, transparency and human rights in the absence of public policy direction.
Environmentally-friendly business is profitable business
We are seeing more companies drive ethical standards throughout their supply chains, regardless of regulatory requirements , and many new products and services, notably in technology and pharmaceuticals, are not regulated at all. Hypertransparency is tightening the feedback loop between corporate actions and stakeholder trust, and legal risk is no longer a reliable proxy for reputational risk. From an ethics and compliance perspective, the drivers to incorporate sustainability are powerful and pressing. While ethics and compliance functions first emerged from the need to anticipate and respond to the concerns of external regulators, their focus has shifted to wider organizational integrity, tone at the top and "cultures of compliance.
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Compliance teams are held responsible for norms and values as well as rules, and corporate commitments to social responsibility, human rights, diversity and inclusion are more effective at driving ethical employee behavior than an exclusive focus on avoiding legal penalties. This is an important motivator for cross-functional collaboration.
As one leading company told BSR, "We have become more aware of the correlation between ethics and compliance and business advantage — transparency, open culture and innovation. This influence can be helpful to the sustainability agenda.
They recognize the value of sustainability and focus beyond mere compliance. Challengers — They limit their activity to islands of excellence.
Niche — Companies falling under this classification do not have the vision to move beyond compliance and thus, fail to see the big picture. Laggards — They focus on the checklist method. Evolving beyond compliance has many benefits.
A tale of two cultures: Ethics and Compliance
They are often left unquantified. Thus, companies should look at the growth prospects and the opportunities which open up after adopting this point of view. Its up to you to decide your future course of action.
Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Reading Time: 3 minutes Seeing the full picture For years, compliance strategies for organizations- if there were any- were all about complying with norms and regulations which the authorities had thrust upon them.
A tale of two cultures: Ethics and Compliance
Setting standards Nowadays, a variety of stakeholders are setting their own standards. Demands of the stakeholders It is always better to go beyond what the government is asking for.
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- The case for merging sustainability, risk and compliance.
- Good to Great: Moving beyond compliance – Ruky Speaks Sustainability.
Yet, executives across the globe are not in favor of going beyond compliance due to the following reasons : Personal Challenge — They find it difficult to cope up with implementing and tracking constant regulatory challenges. Need for new systems — The constant change in regulations demands a system which keeps them updated and on their toes. Hence, automation has become a key to success and many organizations are not ready to adapt to new technologies.
Building such robust GRC system is proving to be a complex process. MetricStream, VComply etc Lack of compliance specialists — More than half of the new hires in London last year were compliance staff! Yet, no one can guarantee the outcome of the hiring. GRC — An opportunity Evolving beyond compliance has many benefits.