Deconstructing the Competitive Advantage - 2012 Spring Sustainability Dinner

Economic volatility is highlighting the competitive advantage to be gained by mainstream businesses that embrace sustainability.But where are the demarcation lines in sustainability discussions at board level? According to dinner guests, boards often divide sustainability issues into three categories: the good (resource efficiency), the bad (water scarcity) and the ugly (climate change). The dialogue, however, is beginning to synthesize the twin levers of risk (legal, reputational, supply chain resilience) with reward (cost savings, value creation, talent retention) into an integrated perspective. Participants identified consumers, institutional investors and China as the main global forcesdriving the sustainability agenda forward. Most also cited the energy sector as open territory for alternative solutions.

Background

The Egon Zehnder Sustainability Dinner, held semi-annually, brings together sustainability leaders, chief executives, investors, policy experts, and provocateurs. Spanning a wide range of lessons and ideas, dialogues at the dinner follow the Chatham House Rule.

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