This new report, based on in-depth interviews with 50 chief sustainability officers and managers in 10 countries, examines how group sustainability units operate within corporate structures, what makes them successful and how they plan to develop in the future.

It finds that sustainability has become a board-level responsibility, but that sustainability-focused organizations are still developing in maturity, including in response to new ESG reporting requirements.

The report includes research on staffing levels at group sustainability units, their key topics and responsibilities, and how they work with boards, as well as quotes from interviewees.

It discusses how corporates can integrate sustainability work into relevant functions and business units, allowing the decentralization of responsibility for ESG, particularly its reporting such as CSRD. This can allow the group sustainability unit to focus on its central strategic role to drive long-term commitment to sustainability goals.

Most mid- to large sized Nordic companies are on an ESG transformation journey, and the implementation of business strategies which embed ESG opportunities inevitably requires new governance, organization and monitoring around ESG performance.

Tomas Otterström
KPMG’s Nordic ESG business cooperation lead

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