During the Decade of Action – the label the United Nations has given to the global push to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals’ vision by 2030 – many businesses have declared that they are firmly committed to sustainability strategies focused on long-term value creation. How effectively a company can deliver on their strategy depends on the tone set from the top – board, audit committee, chief sustainability officer – and their approach to managing sustainability priorities.

Every element of a sustainability strategy – net zero goals, nature based solutions, engaging your value chain – has to be supported by rigorous internal controls. And the effectiveness of those controls starts with strong governance and equally strong assurance. Does the company have guardrails in place to ensure the integrity of its people, performance, and data? If misconduct occurs, are there systems to detect and correct? How can internal controls guide a company’s journey from basic environmental compliance to true human and natural resource stewardship? Or, for the courageous, from incremental improvements to society-transforming products and services? In answering these questions, more and more organizations are realizing that strong internal controls are fundamental to the good governance required.

Read the full article published by ERM’s SustainAbility Institute.