Energy & Sustainability Publications

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  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. Business Case for Corporate Investment in Sustainable Practices

    May 2015 | Research Report

    A growing body of research based on quantifiable bottom-line results shows that investments in environmental, social, and governance initiatives produce a positive impact on financial market performance.

  5. Business Case for Nature

    April 2013 | The Conference Board Review

    The authors argue that companies should value natural resources as highly as any other.


  1. CEO Challenges in the Gulf Region

    April 2014 | CEO Challenge®

    CEOs in the Gulf region reported a significantly different set of priorities than did CEOs globally, with strategies that reflect the particular business challenges of a resource-rich, energy-dependent region.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. China Wants to Go Green: Sustainability Imperatives for CFOs of Multinationals

    March 2015 | Key Business Issues

    China's strong commitment to cleaning up pollution and changing the way business operates with regard to the environment means that chief financial officers of multinational corporations operating in China must be hypervigilant about sustainability cos

  7. China Wants to Go Green: Sustainability Imperatives for CHROs of Multinationals

    March 2015 | Key Business Issues

    As China's regulatory landscape changes to combat environmental degradation, special skills will be needed to not only set the organization up for success in compliance, but to do so while weathering slow economic growth and competition for top talent.

  8. China Wants to Go Green: Sustainability Imperatives for Multinationals

    March 2015 | Key Business Issues

    Significant revisions to environmental regulations and a strong focus on sustainability by China's government, as well as sharpening sentiments of the Chinese populace on pollution, will change the operating environment for MNCs in China.

  9. China Wants to Go Green: Sustainability Imperatives for Multinationals – Strategic Overview

    March 2015 | Key Business Issues

    China's leaders have strengthened regulations in an aggressive show of commitment to improving the environmental conditions. Multinational corporations in China will be targeted most to comply—this report details what to expect.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Corporate Sustainability in Brazil

    May 2014 | Director Notes

    This report looks at Brazil through a corporate sustainability lens and offers an overview of the current state of environmental and social practices among its business organizations.

  15. 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.

  16. Conference Board CEO Challenge® 2015: Creating Opportunity out of Adversity—Building Innovative, People-Driven Organizations

    January 2015 | Key Business Issues

    CEOs are undeterred in their quest for new sources of growth and show few signs of hunkering down in the defensive postures seen in the years immediately following the 2008 financial crisis.

  17. Conference Board CEO Challenge® 2015: Creating Opportunity out of Adversity—Building Innovative, People-Driven Organizations (Strategic Overview)

    January 2015 | Key Business Issues

    In the current slow-growth global economic environment, CEOs say they are relying on product and process innovation, more productive use of technology, a stronger leadership bench, and increased employee engagement to contribute to organizational success.

  18. Conference Board Economics Watch® United States View

    April 2014 | Economics Watch Reports

    Economic growth is poised for some solid gains. The housing and labor markets are the keys to this improvement. The current path also suggests increased business investment for the remainder of the year.

  19. 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.

  20. Conference Board Economics Watch® Emerging Markets View

    March 2015 | Economics Watch Reports

    Emerging economies are facing increasing economic and political challenges in 2015, with the US Fed’s decision further testing their financial stability

  21. Conference Board Economics Watch® European View

    April 2014 | Economics Watch Reports

    Headwinds Are Affecting Growth Expectations for Europe


  1. 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.

  2. 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.


  1. 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?

  2. Environmental Policy-Making

    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.

  3. 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers: STRATEGIC OVERVIEW

    September 2014 | Key Business Issues

    Is your organization at risk of labor shortages? This Strategic Overview covers the potential implications of labor shortages and what every function can do to mitigate there effects.


  1. Getting a Handle on Energy (Strategic Overview)

    April 2015 | Key Business Issues

    Continued energy volatility will produce clear winners and losers. This strategic overview presents a series of scenarios based on various price trajectories and estimates their impact on the business environment.

  2. Getting a Handle on Energy: Global Growth Scenarios in Times of Changing Oil Prices

    April 2015 | Key Business Issues

    Continued oil price volatility and adjustments in production levels and energy composition have the potential to drastically rearrange the global energy landscape in the next few years, producing clear winners and losers.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Growth in the Middle East Depends on Productivity

    February 2007 | Executive Action Report

    Although GDP growth in the Middle East has been strong for several years, stagnant productivity levels and the lack of a large middle class may limit the region’s growth potential.


  1. How Do Financial Markets Respond to Corporate Sustainability Disclosure?

    April 2014 | Director Notes

    While established evidence shows that bad corporate environmental news is punished by the market, emerging evidence shows that, in some instances, superior environmental performance may also be punished.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Integrating Sustainability into Your Core Businesses—A Road Map

    May 2015 | Research Report

    This report identifies work processes, tools, and experiences that can help practitioners build or strengthen sustainability programs in their companies.

  4. 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".


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Long Soft Fall in Chinese Growth: Implications for the CFO

    December 2014 | Key Business Issues

    How do you grow in a time of slowing growth? For CFOs and finance executives, China's economy presents unique challenges. This function-specific summary details the challenges and opportunities for CFOs to help position their MNCs for success in China.

  4. Long Soft Fall in Chinese Growth: Strategic Overview

    December 2014 | Key Business Issues

    In an unprecedented time of slow economic growth in China, CEOs and CSOs can look to this Strategic Overview for detailed recommendations on how to plan and prepare their organizations for a long soft fall.


  1. 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.


  1. 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?

  2. Navigating the Sustainability Transformation

    January 2015 | Director Notes

    This report describes a four-stage model for companies to progress from engaging initially with sustainability to accelerating, leading, and, ultimately, transforming their businesses.

  3. 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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?


  1. Shareholder Proposals on Social and Environmental Issues

    December 2014 | Director Notes

    Political spending and climate change, key topics during the proxy 2014 season, are expected to feature heavily again in 2015 shareholder proposals.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.



  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Sustainability Practices 2015 Dashboard

    February 2015 | Sustainability Practices Dashboard

    The Conference Board Sustainability Practices Dashboard analyzes the most recent disclosure of environmental and social practices by public companies around the world.

  9. Sustainability Practices 2015 Key Findings

    February 2015 | Key Findings

    Key findings from the Sustainability Practices Dashboard 2015, the comprehensive database and online benchmarking tool that captures the most recent environmental and social practices by large public companies globally.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

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