Experience Necessary

Governance theory suggests that directors may be selected for their ability to provide access to needed resources and information from the external environment (Daily et al., 1999). Board members play the primary role of making information from the external environment available to the company. Directors are valued for their connections and reputations related to sustainable development. One key resource that may be of value to enable a company to become a leader in sustainable development may be the access a director has to others who are knowledgeable about, and committed to, sustainable development in other organizations.

Having a board comprised of individuals with diverse experience and who represent a broad range of stakeholders is important to corporate initiatives in sustainability. The corporations in the chemical sector of the 2004 DJSI valued the presence on their board of individuals with experience in, or commitment to, sustainability-related activities in other aspects of their lives. The companies have retained the services of individuals with demonstrated expertise in education, environmental affairs, and various philanthropic and social causes. The boards of Dow and DuPont are particularly noteworthy for the representation of directors who have received significant public recognition for their contributions to sustainable development.

A commitment to sustainability compels organizations to pursue a course of action involving the recruitment and retention of directors who understand the value of sustainable development to the corporation and society. Criteria for the selection of directors should include evidence of involvement in, or representation of, stakeholder interests. Corporations can and should engage directors who have the background to share experiences from other organizations committed to the tenets of sustainable development. Sources of such talent may be the boards of other companies in other sectors of the DJSI or other recognized organizations such as the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

0 0

Post a comment