Jane Ang, Sunil Puri
Stewardship Asia Centre

28 May 2024


Humanity is threatened by several existential crises—climate change, social inequality, indiscriminate use of Earth’s resources and cybercrime. While the myriad existential challenges result in increased risk for businesses, they also open up windows of opportunity. It thus makes business sense to act on sustainability.

As the senior-most representative group, boards hold implicit accountability towards enhancing value for the organisation. They are thereby responsible for addressing the needs of stakeholders, society, future generations and the environment. Yet, the board’s role in driving the sustainability agenda has traditionally been underplayed and rarely talked about.

Stewardship Asia Centre and 13 other distinguished organisations across 12 countries in the region have concluded the Asia-Pacific-wide research study titled “Boards as Stewards of Sustainability”.

Based on inputs from over 700 directors across the Asia Pacific, the study objectives were to understand the following:

  • Challenges boards need to deal with as they pursue the sustainability agenda.
  • “Active ingredients” that must be in place for boards to drive action and commitment to sustainability.
  • Different archetypes of boards, based on their mindset and readiness to steward sustainability.
  • Actions boards must initiate and mindset changes they must embrace to prepare their organisations to overcome existential challenges.


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