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3 Oct 2022

Sustainability and ESG criteria revolutionise the business agenda

Sustainability and ESG criteria revolutionise the business agenda

New organisational models and impact indicators, main challenges in sustainability management

  • Executives from the IBEX 35 meet at the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation to analyse the key trends and aspects impacting sustainability management and ESG aspects.

 

Barcelona, 30 September. Sustainability and ESG issues enter fully into the management committees. Increasing regulation on non-financial reporting, as well as pressure from investors, are some of the factors that are increasing the interest of management committees and boards of directors in ESG management: the key issues on the corporate agenda today include the skills and knowledge required, impact and measurement indicators, remuneration policies and accountability.

In Spain, an increasing number of IBEX 35-listed companies have created a sustainability committee or reorganised an existing one, raising this area to the highest level of decision-making and governance structure. This was one of the main conclusions reached by the executives of the member companies of Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership at the exclusive meeting on sustainability trends held at the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation with the collaboration of Abertis and Iberdrola.

Experts say that, although there is no single model, sustainability must be represented in the highest management body of companies through managers and professionals with the right profile. In this respect, the need for training at the board and senior management level in the field of sustainability is becoming increasingly urgent.

In the words of Ángel Alloza, CEO of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership, "Sustainability is positioned as a discipline that applies to the entire organisation in a transversal way and, therefore, also affects and influences other key intangible assets such as reputation, brand or communication". In turn, Alberto Andreu, chairman of DIRSE and guest expert at the dialogue table with companies, explained that "companies need to integrate sustainability management into strategic planning and business. We are witnessing a regulatory tsunami in terms of ESG criteria, and those companies that are not prepared will find it difficult to secure their social licence to operate."

The meeting was also attended by Javier Garilleti, founding partner of Lead by Thought and an expert in this management discipline. Garilleti has addressed the debate on the issue of the term ESG itself, looking at its limitations and the complexity involved in its application in business. Currently, ESG criteria are in a state of transition in terms of their assigned functions. This is because the concept encompasses many functions and needs an eminently strategic evolution.

The objective of this type of meeting promoted by Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is to generate spaces that allow for co-creation, collaboration and dialogue between various companies facing the same challenges across different sectors. As stated by Georgina Flamme, Director of Institutional Relations, Communication and Sustainability of the Abertis Group and Director of the Abertis Foundation, "By bringing together companies of such a high level around a topic as relevant as this one allows us to advance in the search for concrete solutions in terms of sustainability and ESG criteria". For Luis Gómez, Senior Advisor to the Chairman's Area of Iberdrola, "We are immersed in a new social and economic cycle, and in this business context, it is key to define the aspects and trends in sustainability that most affect the activity of organisations".

Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is a business platform created by large companies to professionalise the management of intangible assets and resources such as reputation, brand, sustainability and communication. Its purpose is to promote the excellent management of intangible assets and a new way of doing business where the creation of balanced and shared value for all the stakeholders of an organisation in the long term is paramount. It seeks, therefore, to contribute to and drive better organisations that positively impact the environments in which they operate.