‘The Sustainable Business Handbook’ → David Grayson (Author): A Roadmap for Communicating ESG and Avoiding Greenwashing Claims

A Roadmap for Communicating ESG and Avoiding Greenwashing Claims Environmental, Social, and Governance

Topics Discussed:

  1. The Sustainable Business Handbook (TSBH)
  2. Co-authored with two colleagues: Mark Lee and Chris Coulter
  3. TSBH is step by step guide — 13 chapters of key elements to sustainability as a business
  4. TSBH how-to manual — Previous book “All In” was tracking the evolution of biz over 20 years
  5. Embedding sustainability in the core of the business — one chapter dedicated to communications
  6. The power of storytelling — it can only come after identifying a strategy — Board oversight — and leadership buy-in
  7. Transparency and accountability are fundamental 
  8. Critical to a company’s success is working through environmental, social, and economic impacts: positive and negative 
  9. Embedding sustainability is critical for people and the planet 
  10. Greenwashing and Purposewashing 
  11. How companies, funds, and investors can avoid greenwashing claims
  12. ESG claims must have substance
  13. How to build a sustainable business culture 
  14. Materiality exercise as a tool to improve ESG
  15. For reporting ESG, should include carbon and water
  16. TCFD and TNFD 
  17. Collaborations of standards and sustainability reporting and international accounting standard Boards
  18. Trends between ESG and investment 
  19. Top talent will be attracted to companies that align with a responsible way of doing business and shared values
  20. What role does the CMO play in the success of a sustainable business?
  21. Unilever is an example of embedding sustainability; even before Paul Polman 
  22. Unilever’s “brands with purpose”
  23. Suzano, an example of a responsible company 
  24. Board oversight
  25. The Tata Group


David Grayson is Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management. He is also chair of the Institute of Business Ethics and of the international disability charity Leonard Cheshire. He has advised businesses and Corporate Responsibility coalitions around the world.

Co-Authors of TSBH

Mark Lee is the Director of the SustainAbility Institute by ERM and an ERM Partner. Mark sits on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Brands and the Senior Advisory Board of the Centre for Responsible Business at the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. He is based in California.

Chris Coulter is the CEO of GlobeScan, an international insights and advisory consultancy. He is also the Chair of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and a member of several corporate sustainability advisory boards, including B Lab’s Multinational Standards Advisory Council.

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