Sustainable Corporate Governance for a Sustainable Future

As we now hopefully start to see the end of the Covid 19 pandemic, a pressing question is how to ensure that we are not heading back to an unsustainable normal but rather towards a sustainable future.

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Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

The European Union is taking a lead in this area with the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Finance Initiative, the Circular Economy Action Plans, the proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (reforming the so-called Non-Financial Reporting Directive) and the Sustainable Corporate Governance Initiative.

The Commission has released the results from its public consultation on the Sustainable Corporate Governance Initiative, showing strong support for mandatory legislation to integrate sustainability risks, impacts and opportunities into company’s strategy, decisions and oversight (including 70 per cent of respondents representing individual companies and business associations). Yet, there is also resistance against the direction of the initiative, including its unprecedented willingness to regulate the role of the corporate board. The Commission has not yet presented its proposal for a directive under the Sustainable Corporate Governance Initiative.

The project Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART, 2016-2020), funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, undertook research identifying barriers and possibilities for sustainable business and finance, presenting research-based reform proposals. The SMART results resonate with the general direction the EU Commission is taking, although we have also suggested to broaden and strengthen several initiatives, notably the Sustainable Finance Initiative.

Amongst our SMART Legacy initiatives is the project Futuring Sustainable Nordic Business Models, which hosts this event. In this online event, open to all, scholars and practitioners will together into a discussion of the role of corporate law and corporate governance to secure the contribution of business and finance to a sustainable future.


8.30-08.45: Welcome

08.45-10.00: Sustainable Corporate Governance for Sustainable Business

  • Keynote by Turid Elisabeth Solvang, founder and CEO of FutureBoards. Turid Solvang is former Chair of European Confederation of Directors Associations, co-Founder of European Women on Boards, member of Board Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Board, and co-founder and former CEO of Norwegian Institute of Directors.
  • The EU Roadmap to Sustainable Business, by Beate Sjåfjell
  • Discussion

09.45-10.00: Convenience break

10.00-11.15: Sustainable Corporate Governance for Sustainable Finance

  • Keynote by Idar Kreutzer, head of Finance Norway. Idar Kreutzer chairs the Board of Norway Post and the Norwegian Refugee Council. He is Deputy Chairman of the Corporate Assembly of Statoil AS and a member of the Corporate Assembly of Norsk Hydro ASA.
  • 'The EU's Sustainable Finance Initiative: Limits to Market-Driven Sustainability', by Jay Cullen
  • Discussion

11.15-11.30: Convenience break

11.30-12.30 Panel discussion

  • Panelists: Kiran Aziz, KLP; Monica Mee, KPMG; Michael Ristaniemi, Metsa Group


Published June 10, 2021 1:32 PM - Last modified Oct. 30, 2021 8:11 PM