How sustainability can prevail during times of geopolitical uncertainty

In this episode of the Sustainability Matters podcast, Bruno Sarda and Matthew Bell examine how CSOs can maintain sustainability as a key priority in a changing geopolitical environment.

In a changing geopolitical environment, how can organizations stay true to their sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals? In this episode of Sustainability Matters, Bruno is joined by Matthew Bell (Matt), EY Global Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) Leader. Together, they explore the megatrends that will likely impact businesses over the next ten years, and the potential challenges businesses may face as they navigate the choppy waters of economic downturns, global conflict and forced regulations.

In particular, Bruno and Matt discuss the evolving role of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), and the responsibility for CSOs to look beyond short-term objectives and lead the C-suite in staying true to sustainability ambitions. 

As more businesses begin to explore how environmental impact goes hand in hand with impact on people, how can they look beyond nonfinancial disclosures to drive organizational change? Additionally, how can businesses not only adhere to compliance standards, but go beyond to embrace sustainability and ESG throughout their corporate culture? 

Matt and Bruno discuss the practical steps that businesses can take, and some of the ongoing CCaSS initiatives that can help clients achieve their sustainability goals. Finally, Matt also shares his thoughts for people looking to make sustainability a career and how everyone, regardless of their job role, can contribute.

Key takeaways:

  • CSOs and sustainability professionals are beginning to look beyond immediate performance to steer organizations on a long-term path to sustainability.
  • Organizations should focus on the social dimension of sustainability, corporate impact on society and the environment delivers corporate value.
  • Nonfinancial reporting is expected to achieve the same level of importance as financial reporting, which means that every area of the business should embed sustainability into their agenda.
  • Global downturns, conflicts and financial crises are unlikely to interrupt ESG initiatives and can potentially accelerate them as organizations look at new business models and alternative energy sources.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. 


Season 4, Episode 6


25m 41s