How can you transform to build value that lasts?

By Kent Kaufield

EY Canada ESG Markets Leader & Chief Sustainability Officer

Sustainability advocate. Energizer. Bringing innovation, creativity and courage to our clients each and every day.

15 minute read 8 Dec. 2021

Key questions to help anchor your business strategy in long-term value creation.

In brief:

  • Focusing on any one ESG pillar to the exclusion of others could mean losing ground in the eyes of stakeholders who expect a broader approach to long-term value creation. Identifying your greatest risks and opportunities, and then integrating those focus areas right into your business strategy, can help you make a more significant impact.
  • Taking a back-to-basics and tactical planning approach to execute your reshaped business strategy is a powerful way to enable execution.
  • By engaging a diverse group of stakeholders in the way you measure, report and communicate your ESG progress will strengthen your governance approach. 

Your key stakeholders are speaking a new language — one in which risks and opportunities tied to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors constitute the heart of the narrative.

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, a fundamental shift was already working its way across the market and redefining the way stakeholders define value. Long-term organizational success now depends on your ability to build, demonstrate and measure long-term value creation that extends far beyond traditional financial metrics. Failing to prioritize those evolving expectations as core components of your purpose, operations and strategy can create challenges to access capital markets, build customer loyalty and maintain social licence to operate over the long term.

Baking long-term value (LTV) into your culture and operations, measuring those efforts and communicating that story authentically is now mission critical. It must extend beyond quarterly financial reporting to look at the kind of benefits that emerge months, or even years, after you make an investment or strategic decision. Doing the right thing has always been the right thing to do. But today, colleagues, investors and stakeholders are expecting it, regulators are reinforcing it and competitors are embracing it.

This paradigm shift presents a real opportunity for organizations willing to chart a new course forward. Canadian companies can lead the way by emphasizing people, planet, prosperity and governance as key focus areas in their business strategy. That’s how you reframe strategy and operations to better balance ambitious business goals with the will to drive a positive impact on the world.

Getting there won’t happen overnight — but every step forward is a step in the right direction. Taking action now means engaging boards and the C-suite in the agenda, and then:

  • Reshaping strategy with a bigger focus on LTV.
  • Transforming the business to execute on that strategy in your day-to-day.
  • Demonstrating and measuring your impact clearly for internal and external stakeholders. 

In the report that follows, we dive deep into the business case for change and outline key questions you can ask to reposition your strategy through the LTV lens. Doing so is absolutely essential for any business that wants to resonate with stakeholders now and in a post-pandemic world. 

Questions to help anchor your business strategy in ESG and long-term value creation

 How can you transform to build value that lasts?

Download report

Summary

Failing to meet investors’ expectations on ESG priorities through a fully integrated LTV-based business strategy puts you at risk of losing access to the markets, your customer base and the very ability to operate. Getting LTV right can influence perceptions, profits and potential for generations to come.

About this article

By Kent Kaufield

EY Canada ESG Markets Leader & Chief Sustainability Officer

Sustainability advocate. Energizer. Bringing innovation, creativity and courage to our clients each and every day.