DSGC presents ‘Leadership and Corporate Governance for Sustainable Growth Business Models’

15 October 2013

Today, the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) presented its second publication at a special event at EY in Amsterdam. Paul Polman (CEO, Unilever), Feike Sijbesma (CEO, DSM), Camiel Eurlings (CEO, KLM), Bernard Wientjes (President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers), Trude Maas (non-executive director) and Jan Peter Balkenende (Partner, EY) shared their experiences with an audience of 130 leaders from the private and public sector. For this special occasion, Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) submitted a video message. Various multi-stakeholder organisations and the academic world were also well-represented.

Integrating and upscaling
Jan Peter Balkenende, the DSGC’s Chair and partner at EY: “If sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship – corporate responsibility – is not properly integrated into the corporate governance structure, there is no continuity. A dedicated CEO can, as an individual, explore the corporate responsibilities and opportunities related to themes such as climate change, resource scarcity, health or human rights. But corporate responsibility only becomes serious business once it is truly integrated into the way in which companies are governed on a daily basis, and when it receives broad internal support. Which concrete roles do non-executive directors, executive board members and employees play in this respect. This publication answers precisely that question.” The publication presents a model identifying eight dimensions of corporate governance – each of which is illustrated with concrete, practical examples. For example, the DSGC publication presents a FrieslandCampina case study on how to stimulate integrated thinking and true ownership of all players involved. “FrieslandCampina is working hard to roll out its sustainability policy and involve employees and member dairy farmers in its implementation. Together with our member dairy farmers and employees, FrieslandCampina is building an excellent sustainability business case. If we succeed, we will make a real difference in the market and within society as a whole”, says Cees ’t Hart, CEO of FrieslandCampina.

The event was more than a source of inspiration; practical tips were also exchanged. For example: how can non-executive directors use their influence to integrate sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship into the core business of the organisations they supervise? How does integrated reporting work in practice? How can stakeholders be involved in taking policy decision? What incentives can be deployed to ensure a company culture with a long-term focus? How can the ‘tone at the top’ of senior management and ‘bottom up’ creativity in the workplace be mutually reinforcing? These questions are just a few of the range of subjects the publication touches upon. The publication can be downloaded free of charge.

Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition
The coalition brings together eight Dutch multinational companies: Unilever, DSM, AkzoNobel, FrieslandCampina, Philips, Shell, KLM and HEINEKEN. It is their shared belief that financial and economic growth is directly related to social and environmental return. The Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, chaired by Jan Peter Balkenende, is facilitated by EY and supported by the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers.