Daring to Leap conference invites firms to take a leap with ESG

Promising to deliver the essentials for business sustainability, a new bespoke online conference — Daring to Leap: ESG and Corporate Purpose — features more than 30 experts and thought-leaders from around the world.

The December 3rd, 2020 forum will provide a unique opportunity to hear from global thought-leaders on environment, social and governance (ESG) issues and corporate purpose.

The sessions will cover core subjects that will illuminate the risks and opportunities in this emerging area. Hear from keynote speakers Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, Duncan Sinclair, chair of Deloitte Canada and Chile, and Andrew Chakhoyan, founder and CEO of Strategic Narrative Consulting.

MINING.COM spoke with Faith Goodman, Founder of VeriStell Institute and CEO of Goodman Sustainability Group and profiled speaker at the conference about why it is crucial for businesses to define and own its corporate social purpose in order to stay competitive and remain sustainable.

There is a rallying cry from society in general for the sector to step up and do more on the issues of ESG and corporate purpose

“As the world enters the next wave of the pandemic, pressing societal issues are increasingly taking centre stage in corporate boardrooms — including in the mining sector,” said Goodman. “While mining unequivocally provides vital resources that underpin every facet of our lives, there is nonetheless a societal spotlight being shone on the sector overall — not all of that spotlight is positive.”

Goodman said a global shift is redefining the contract between business and their communities from simply “being responsible” to creating real social value. There is a rallying cry from society in general for the sector to step up and do more on the issues of ESG and corporate purpose, she said.

At the forefront of these social value issues is the environment, as well as issues relating to inequality, inequity, Indigenous relations and the imperative for enhanced corporate governance, said Goodman.

“This sustainability step-change requires courageous leadership but will be impeded by ‘business as usual’ thinking,” said Goodman, pointing to the November 2020 Swann Report.

The report highlights that “while mining drives an estimated 45% of the world’s measured economic activity, mining needs a transformation in the way it is perceived by society,” said Goodman. “This can be changed by board skills, diversity and composition. The report delineates that of mining boards surveyed, only “10% are women, 10% have ESG backgrounds and about 60% of board members have tenure of nine years or more.”

The report goes onto discuss the “board risks of stagnation and the lack of fresh perspective — posing a challenge for the growth of the sector.”
Goodman said leadership renewal and fresh thinking is quite possibly a key first step — in the race for stakeholder trust, talent, relevance and survivability.

MINING.COM: What is the benefit/value of attending Daring to Leap for those working in the mining sector?

Goodman: The Daring to Leap day-long forum will provide clarity on several fundamental questions regarding this new sustainability frontier. As a starting point, the subjects of ESG & Corporate Purpose will be discussed through the lens of corporations that have already ‘made the leap.” See a full line up of speakers here.

MINING.COM: Why is the timing right for this conversation in the mining sector?

Goodman: The timing is right for this conversation about daring to leap in any sector — but particularly the mining sector because of what I call the “countervailing hard truths.” Society and government are moving in cohesion to push firms to do better. This unmistakable shift in momentum is manifesting itself in higher order risks previously unheard of and the cumulative impact of these risks or hard truths present a level of ambiguity and lack of clarity that will be challenging to manage. Business as usual is not an option. Leadership as usual is also not an option.

MINING.COM: How will you gain a competitive advantage in the mining sector by attending Daring to Leap?

Goodman: In particular, there are two vital presentations by London Business School (UK) leading academics (Professors Ioannis Ioannou, Professor Alex Edmans) who will be unveiling their unequivocally clear research confirming the link between corporate sustainability (ESG & Corporate Purpose) and long-term value creation, competitiveness and sustainability.

MINING.COM: How is covid-19 driving the new business model?

Goodman: Covid-19 has had a societal ‘doubling down’ effect of bringing the E – the S – and the G underperformance of some firms to the forefront. How firms treat their employees, their customers, their supply chains, their communities — have all been scrutinized and at times publicly adjudicated. This is unprecedented. Social media and real-time brand performance reviews have simply exacerbated the issues. Governments have also moved to quickly address the gaps by linking covid-19 funding to improved corporate sustainability performance and demanding enhanced transparency. Still other governments have enacted new regulatory constructs.

MINING.COM: How will attending Daring to Leap help address diversity, inclusion and inequalities at your company?

Goodman: The Daring to Leap forum has a special panel featuring Ivan Joseph, an award-winning performance coach, Jason Murray, president of BIPOC Executive Search and Prasanna Ranganathan, senior lead of diversity and belonging at Shopify in the afternoon. Learn practical steps firms can take to make meaningful and transparent change.

Register here for the Daring to Leap conference, hosted by The Walrus and the VeriStell Institute.