Climate change governance and the board chair of the future: Accelerating the transition

How can chairs and boards help build momentum to meet the sustainability challenge head-on?

Chairs today face a highly volatile world, between the impacts of climate change, geopolitical uncertainty, and emerging technologies like generative artificial intelligence. They are challenged now more than ever to strike a delicate balance between addressing immediate challenges and ensuring the long-term success of their organisations.

Many chairs are seeking tangible strategies and leading practices to bolster sustainability and climate initiatives and to effectively tie climate actions to business outcomes. To explore how chairs are navigating the climate change agenda, stakeholder interests, and management oversight, the Deloitte Global Boardroom Program surveyed and gathered insigts from over 200 board chairs worldwide.

The findings reveal that, amid a sea of competing priorities, chairs will need to maintain a laser-like focus on sustainability while considering the long term in both thinking and investments; manage a wide range of sometimes conflicting stakeholder expectations; keep abreast of a fast-moving regulatory environment; and help ensure the boards they chair have the appropriate knowledge base and skills to help address the climate challenge—to name just a few.

This report looks across six key questions chairs are discussing to assess whether, and to what extent, their boards are appropriately providing robust and effective climate change governance, and how they are addressing and approaching each and putting their insights into action.

  1. How can we most effectively integrate the climate agenda into business strategy?
  2. How do we balance investment necessary in climate transformation with pressures for short-term results?
  3. How can we manage divergent stakeholder interests and expectations while meeting regulatory developments?
  4. How can committees work best to support the board’s broader climate agenda?
  5. Are we doing enough to help boost our climate literacy?
  6. In my role as chair, how can I advocate for meaningful change?

To read more about this Global Frontier survey and what Boards should pay attention when it comes to climate change goverance, please click here.

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