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 organisations are still developing in maturity, including in response to new ESG reporting requirements, such as the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

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 decentralisation of responsibility for ESG, particularly its reporting. This can allow the group sustainability unit to focus on its central strategic role to drive long-term commitment to sustainability goals.

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