Energy & Sustainability Publications
Developing an Effective Climate Change Strategy
February 2014 | Director Notes
Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are becoming increasingly important. This report details eight steps for developing such strategies and provides examples of companies that have done so.
Sustainability Matters 2014: How Sustainability Can Enhance Corporate Reputation
January 2014 | Research Report
Brand recognition and reputation are among the most valuable intangible assets of any company. In turn, sustainability initiatives have the potential to significantly impact corporate brand and reputation.
Conference Board CEO Challenge® 2014: People and Performance
January 2014 | CEO Challenge®
While CEOs see talent as the critical link in meeting their top business challenges, the 2014 CEO Challenge survey results show a heightened focus on customers and reputation and less concern about regulation and external risk.
Shale Gas Boom and Other Uncertainties in U.S. Energy Markets
December 2013 | KnowlEdge Series Summaries
Energy supply/demand dynamics have become more complex, markets are more volatile, and key points of energy policy are still undetermined. Companies should use scenario plans under these conditions.
Where Did Productivity Go? Can Incentives to Grow the Workforce Be Found?
October 2013 | Global Debt and Growth Series
From 1990-2012, Japan’s gross debt/GDP increased from 68 percent to 237 percent. Today, productivity is low and falling, the workforce is shrinking, and deflation and debt-deflation risks loom large.
Sharing Safety and Regulatory Information along the Value Chain
October 2013 | Council Perspectives
The challenge facing many companies is that while on the surface their supply chain may appear clear, the opposite is often true when it comes to safety and regulatory information.
Local Content Requirements and Strategic Workforce Planning
October 2013 | Executive Action Report
Meeting local content requirements abroad is key to a sustainable multinational business model, and HR professionals should be part of their organization’s localization efforts. Strategic workforce planning can help.
Corporate Sustainability Disclosure in China
October 2013 | Executive Action Report
Environmental and labor regulations abound in China, but supervision and enforcement are seriously lacking. Chinese businesses acutely need more transparency, better disclosure, and better performance in sustainability.
Scenario Planning: Opportunities for Mid-Market Firms
September 2013 | Executive Action Report
Forecasting works well in the short term, but it assumes today’s trends will be tomorrow’s. In the medium term, scenario planning helps companies prepare for the uncertainties of the future.
China Center Quick Note: Corporate Sustainability Disclosure in China --
Evidence from constituents of the CSI 300 index
August 2013 | China Center Publications
How well do Chinese companies currently do at disclosing their sustainability practices to the public, and which metrics do they use?
Sustainability from the Inside Out
July 2013 | KnowlEdge Series Summaries
Leaders in the field share insights for focusing sustainability efforts with key performance indicators, building the function within an organization, and expressing the value of sustainability in business terms.
2013 Summit on Sustainability Conference KeyNotes Report
July 2013 | Conference KeyNotes
Many firms no longer see a contradiction between doing good and making a profit, and are incorporating sustainability into their operations and business models.
Sustainability Practices: 2013 Edition
July 2013 | Research Report
In 2012, in terms of relative environmental footprint, the sector with the smallest footprint was the financials sector; the sectors with the largest environmental footprints were materials, utilities, and energy.
Sustainability Business Case: A Model for Incorporating Financial Value Drivers
June 2013 | Director Notes
Many past sustainability business case analyses have not effectively incorporated key financial value drivers into the discussion. Companies should consider a framework to link environmental actions to financial value drivers.
China Center Chart of the Week: Reporting on corporate environmental and social performance – still a long way to go
June 2013 | China Center Publications
This chart shows disclosure rates regarding key sustainability practices for constituent companies of the SSE 50, and compares it with the S&P Global 1200. The SSE 50 index comprises 50 Chinese A-share stocks listed on the Shanghai stock exchange.
Conference Board Economics Watch® United States View
April 2013 | Economics Watch Reports
Once again economic activity started off the year on strong footing, to only lose steam heading into springtime. In this issue we also examine the shale gas and oil revolution to see if it can really be a game changer.
Business Case for Nature
April 2013 | The Conference Board Review
The authors argue that companies should value natural resources as highly as any other.
Communicating Sustainability Leadership
The Difficulty of Achieving Differentiation
April 2013 | Director Notes
The overall decline in perceived performance of sustainability initiatives for two-thirds of companies in a recent study may be the result of rising skepticism about the benefits of sustainability programs.
Sustainability in the Boardroom: A 2013 Update
March 2013 | Director Notes
According to a survey, when sustainability oversight is made a primary responsibility of senior management, it tends to fall to the CEO or another senior executive reporting to the CEO.
Sustainability Matters 2013:
How Companies Communicate and Engage on Sustainability
February 2013 | Research Report
How are companies addressing what they have defined as their corporate sustainability responsibilities? This report provides an answer through a multifaceted examination of current sustainability practices.
Bar Is Rising on Sustainability Leadership
January 2013 | Director Notes
In a reflection of ongoing corporate efforts to define and achieve sustainability goals, real performance on sustainability is rising. On the other hand, stakeholders’ perceptions about organizations’ performance are declining.
Charting a Path to Sustainability Leadership
November 2012 | Director Notes
This report looks at the potential benefits of demonstrating good environmental, social, and governance performance and discusses five traits of companies that excel in the operational and communication dimensions of sustainability.
Reporting on Corporate Sustainability Performance
October 2012 | Director Notes
This report presents an analysis of 94 sustainability reports published by Canadian corporations in 10 sectors. The results reveal incredible diversity in the performance indicators disclosed, both across and within sectors.
2012 Citizenship and Sustainability Conference KeyNotes Report
October 2012 | Conference KeyNotes
The best way to ensure your organization’s operations meet society’s expectations is to embed corporate responsibility into your business practices
Review of Shareholder Proposals on Environmental Issues
October 2012 | Director Notes
This report looks at shareholder proposals on environmental issues that were voted during the 2012 proxy season to determine which issues were most often brought to boards and which received the greatest support from shareholders.
Sustainability Practices: 2012 Edition
July 2012 | Research Report
In FY2010, companies in the telecommunications services and utilities sectors were most likely to release sustainability reports, while companies in the materials sector were least likely to offer comprehensive disclosure.
Linking Executive Compensation to Sustainability Performance
May 2012 | Director Notes
This report discusses efforts by some companies to incorporate sustainability performance into executive compensation schemes, and provides an overview of recent shareholder proposals filed on this topic.
Business and Sustainability in China: Company Responses to a National Priority
December 2011 | Research Report
What actions are companies taking in China to support the country's sustainable development imperatives?
Sustainability Matters: Why and How Corporate Boards Should Become Involved
October 2011 | Research Report
This report highlights issues to consider when approaching the task of overseeing a sustainability strategy.
Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sustainability Governance: What a Difference a Few Years Can Make
September 2011 | Council Perspectives
The Chief Environment, Health, and Safety Officers’ Council survey results and analysis underscore a corporate shift of attention to sustainability as a source of business value.
Building Sustainable Integrity into Organizational Strategy and Operations
April 2011 | Executive Action Report
To protect a company's integrity, there must be a strong ethics, compliance, and integrity program in place—one that is fully integrated into the organization’s mission, strategy, and operations.
Sustainability in the Boardroom
June 2010 | Director Notes
Despite formal assignment of responsibilities to top business leaders, many companies still lack the structural framework to enable proper director oversight of corporate sustainability.
Ready or Not: Companies and the Sustainability Tipping Point
February 2010 | Executive Action Report
The challenge for companies is how to make sustainability-centric approaches deliver not only on the financial bottom line but also on a broader platform of ecological and social accountabilities and goals that make up the sustainability blend.
Frameworks for Integrating Citizenship and Sustainability into Business Strategies and Operations
June 2009 | Research Report
This report explores the approaches of 11 North American companies with well-established citizenship and sustainability practices.
Shift in U.S. Policy on Climate Change Opens a New Era for Business
May 2009 | Executive Action Report
It's no longer business as usual when it comes to climate change. A significant change of direction for U.S. regulatory policy on the issue will eventually affect all of business.
Growing Beyond Oil: Productivity, Performance, and Progress in the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council
June 2008 | Research Report
Gulf countries must shake their dependence on oil and gas, diversify their economic base, and introduce labor and capital market reforms to ensure long-term prosperity now, before the oil runs out.
Company Approaches to Green Products and Services: What's Working and What's Not
May 2008 | Executive Action Report
Companies that go “green” and promote those efforts must be informed on the environmental impacts of all processes throughout a product’s lifecycle and commit to transparency in marketing and advertising.
Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost?
November 2007 | Research Report
The costs and benefits of various options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are mapped in an effort to support policy design and inform strategy.
Managing for a Carbon-Concerned Future
A Decision-Making Framework
May 2007 | Research Report
Kyoto Protocol or not, most U.S. companies are feeling pressure to measure their carbon footprints, and, for both financial and environmental reasons, to manage or lower their carbon emissions.
Risk and Opportunity in the Gathering Climate Change Storm
February 2007 | Executive Action Report
In the absence of organized global response to climate change, business must prepare to minimize risks—and know they can realize competitive advantage by doing so.
Citizenship and Sustainability: Doing Good Can Be Good for Business
January 2007 | Executive Action Report
Small and mid-size companies are finding that expanding corporate citizenship and sustainability programs is a smart business decision that can enhance public image and do good even with limited resources.
Stopping the Profit Drain from Higher Energy Costs
October 2006 | Executive Action Report
Mid-sized and smaller industrial firms wishing to reduce costs have to make energy
efficiency a priority and develop coherent structures for managing it.
Carbon Footprint a Growing Management Concern
October 2006 | Executive Action Report
The Conference Board survey finds companies are increasingly focusing on greenhouse gases and their implications for business.
Navigating Energy Management: A Roadmap for Business
September 2005 | Executive Action Report
Businesses today are more focused on “managing” energy than at any other time in recent decades. However, are business opportunities being missed because many companies are approaching energy management in an unsystematic fashion, or not at all?
Climate Change: Clear Trajectory—Haze in the Details
August 2004 | Executive Action Report
Climate change is a fact of life for business in the 21st century, and those that ignore the potential implications do so at their own peril.
Strategic Energy Management - The State of the Debate
March 2004 | Research Report
This report is based on a survey of senior executives to determine how businesses currently view and manage energy.
New EU Directive Means Greater Corporate Environmental Liability Exposure
February 2004 | Executive Action Report
Once a new controversial law is passed, companies already operating in the EU will see their environmental liability exposure increase.
Finding Direction . . .Taking Control of the Sustainability Agenda: Broadening the Role of Business
December 2003 | Executive Action Report
For business to adopt an enhanced corporate responsibility strategy and expect to realize short-term business benefits in the face of long-term global needs is likely unrealistic. This report explains why it is still important to develop such a strategy.
Aggressive Energy Productivity Management Pays Big Dividends
December 2003 | Executive Action Report
Many companies have recognized that energy productivity is not a “nice to do” activity, but an important part of their business operations that can yield quantifiable cost savings and less directly-measurable general productivity improvements.
Driving Toward ''0''
November 2003 | Research Report
This study is a benchmark on corporate safety culture and a rating of the policies and best practices that affect corporate safety performance.
Is "Crisis Mode" The New Energy Management Norm?
September 2003 | Executive Action Report
In the United States, the traditional assumption about energy—abundant supplies at low cost—is being challenged by frequent "crises".
Traveling Green: Linking Executive Travel to Corporate, Community, and Environmental Values
April 2003 | Executive Action Report
Executive travel provides the next opportunity for organizations to demonstrate to their employees, suppliers, customers, and communities that they "walk the talk" on corporate citizenship.
Emerging Trends... Europe Shifts Burden of Waste Disposal to Product Producers
February 2003 | Executive Action Report
What companies can do now to prepare for the expanded financial and physical burden of disposal at the end of a product's useful life?
Global Climate Change: Fact or Fiction? It Doesn't Matter--The Issue is Here to Stay
June 2002 | Executive Action Report
This report argues that while science is unlikely to provide unequivocal answers to the debate, governments and markets are likely to act on their perception of the science--actions which will have an impact on global business.
Road to Sustainability: Business’ First Steps
January 2002 | Research Report
The essence of current sustainability thinking is ensuring the long-term survival of global society. What can individual companies do to contribute to the ultimate success of sustainability?
Innovative Public-Private Partnerships: Conservation of Forests, Farmlands, and Wetlands
October 2001 | Research Report
This report outlines the current status of agreements between government, business, and non-governmental organizations for the preservation of open spaces.
Using Market Mechanisms in Environmental Regulation
June 1998 | Research Report
Will the market drive companies to "better" behavior regarding the environment? Here's a look at answers to that question.
Innovative Public-Private Partnerships: Environmental Initiatives
March 1998 | Research Report
Is a partnership between your company and a regulatory agency a possibility? Maybe it should be. Here are some keys to making it work.
June 1997 | Research Report
European and American decision makers realize they need a new approach to environmental policy making, so they are considering analytical tools such as risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis.