Episode 151: Professor Robert Eccles discusses ESG trends, and the importance of sustainability standards

Professor Robert Eccles, one of the world’s leading authorities on ESG, discusses the growing importance of ESG factors in investment, with reflections on the corporate and investor response to the war in Ukraine. He shares his views on the importance of establishing effective corporate sustainability standards–which he recognises as a challenging, inevitably slow, sometimes polarising, but vitally important effort to reach consensus: “Standard setting has always been a contentious, fractious process. There are technical issues, there are ideological issues. It’s never done… the debate continues.” Professor Eccles discusses the role  corporations play with respect to the SDGs–and how, and when, corporations can do good given pressures to grow and maximise profits. He also discusses the impact of investors’ changing attitudes to sustainability. A fascinating discussion focussed on some of the most important questions today in the world of corporate sustainability.

Professor Robert Eccles is a leading authority on corporate purpose and the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in resource allocation decisions by companies and investors. He is Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford was previously a tenured professor at Harvard Business School. He is the Founding Chairman of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and one of the founders of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).