London – 2nd December 2015 – Fidelio, the Board Development and Executive Search Consultancy, today announces the key findings of its Sustainability Report “Sustainability – Feeling the Force”. The results are based on an international survey of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs expertise extending across sectors and geographies. Sustainability is proving to be a disruptive force, driving change in strategy, operating models and culture. It has the scope to provide an all-important competitive advantage and build the value of reputation for leading businesses. Recent crises at Volkswagen, BHP Billiton and Exxon Mobil demonstrate the force of feeling, the cost of getting it wrong and the importance of having the right people in the right place.
Fidelio’s research findings tell a story of Sustainability moving from a passionate campaigning support base, often disconnected from mainstream business, to a central strategic driver, led from the top and embedded into culture, values and operational execution.
33% of our participants report directly to the CEO illustrating the increasing strategic value of the role.
Organisations which can authentically articulate their approach to sustainable development and responsible and sustainable operating models are seen to win a competitive edge in the battle for trust.
The report identified a number of drivers that are pushing Sustainability to the top of the corporate agenda. These include public awareness, customers, employees and investors. The ability to attract talent through a coherent and well-articulated Sustainability strategy and the ability to satisfy investors interested in environment social and governance issues were referenced by a number of survey participants. Reporting and transparency requirements were seen as a catalyst and essential tool in identifying risks and performance evaluation.
Board commitment is necessary to balance senior management’s quarterly reporting mind-set with a more confident approach to planning for long-term performance. Driving real change and creating a company that builds trust requires leadership transformation and disciplined focus on building a culture of responsible behaviour. The Board needs to be the major sponsor of social purpose in order for Sustainability to permeate the organisational culture and deliver its full commercial value.
Fidelio, through Search, is helping clients to build the teams and structures they need to engage effectively. Communications and marketing functions must work in a more joined up way to create value through clear messaging of key strategic campaigns that are delivered through multiple channels to reach all stakeholders.
In describing the increasing importance of the Chief Sustainability Officer, Jon Durrant, Partner of Fidelio’s Communications Search practice said “ The role involves not only developing a Sustainability strategy that is authentic and aligned to the core business but, also, the ability to be a credible and trusted advisor to the “C-Suite”. We see people coming to the role from a variety of backgrounds, but the ability to influence and create measurable value is increasingly critical and reflects its growing seniority.
Valentina Lorini, Fidelio Analyst and co- author of the report added “The feedback from our research very much positioned Sustainability expertise at the heart of commercial strategy, operating models, corporate affairs and brand communications. Only when the relevant expertise is in place can the organisation’s social purpose be shaped and brought to life.”
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Notes to Editors:
Fidelio Partners is an international Board Development and Executive Search consultancy. We have a deep understanding of what shareholders and stakeholders require from the Board and management team.
Fidelio builds leadership teams through Search and Development at Board, Executive Search and direct report level. We have a deep expertise in Finance, Communications and Governance and, in the context of IPOs, have a world class capability in IR Search.
Fidelio builds Boards and leadership teams that are well placed to:
- Sustain corporate reputation and maintain the licence to operate
- Secure on-going access to capital
- And thereby increase the value of the business
Our multi-lingual, highly qualified, in-house research capability is based in London and delivers Search and Development internationally.
Fidelio is committed to building diverse and highly effective Boards and Executive teams and is a signatory to the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms.
For more information please visit our new website Fidelio Partners Board Development and Executive Search or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.