Sustainable efforts more important than ever, say experts


China Daily | September 30, 2020


The China Daily article, “Sustainable efforts more important than ever, say experts," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Grace Cheng on how the pandemic has challenged leaders in brand new ways, given the lack of precedent for a situation like this. The article is excerpted below.

With the gradual resumption of work and production amid the global spread of COVID-19, companies around the world need to have a clear plan for pursuing sustainable development in a bid to cope with the new situation and drive corporate transformation, said a report by Russell Reynolds Associates and the United Nations Global Compact.

Grace Cheng, country head of Russell Reynolds Associates Greater China, said the coronavirus pandemic is a brand-new test for leadership, and it also highlights the importance of sustainable development capabilities.

"Few senior executives will face such serious and far-reaching challenges as the pandemic in their careers, and those who habitually rely on common practice and past experience to solve problems now find there's no precedent for tackling problems brought by the pandemic," Cheng said.

"It requires leaders to build a new business environment for a better and sustainable world powered by a circular economy. Leaders need to ensure that corporate resources are allocated reasonably while taking into account economic, ecological, social and sustainable development needs."

The report found that 92 percent of CEOs among surveyed companies believe that incorporating sustainable development into their corporate strategy is critical to the success of future development.

Around 48 percent of CEOs said they have implemented sustainable development strategies in their daily operations, and 21 percent believe that their companies have played a key role in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The concept of sustainable development has become increasingly important in recent times. According to the report, 15 percent of nearly 4,000 corporate executives and board members' job descriptions mentioned sustainable development.

To read the full article, click here.

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Sustainable efforts more important than ever, say experts