January 23, 2020

CSRWire.com The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

news by category

CSR News

CEO Decision–Making for Sustainability

Submitted by: Network for Business Sustainability

Categories: Sustainability, Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: Jun 07, 2016 – 08:00 AM EST


Why do some CEOs incorporate sustainability into their decision-making—and what holds others back?

LONDON, Ontario, Jun. 07 /CSRwire/ - New research from the Network for Business Sustainability by Dr. Stephanie Bertels, Jess Schulschenk, Andrea Ferry, Vanessa Otto-Mentz, and Esther Speck provides research-based insights to this question. CEO Decision-Making for Sustainability covers:

The CEO’s perspective:

  • Identifies the factors shaping a CEO’s thinking on sustainability, from personal readiness, to the business context, to a final “gut check.”

  • Identifies three key barriers that prevent CEOs from prioritizing sustainability:

    • lack of relevant information,

    • unclear links to core business, and

    • competing priorities.

The role for change agents, people who can influence the CEO’s perspective and actions on sustainability:

  • Shares what CEOs told the researchers were the qualities of influential change agents.

  • Captures what the researchers learned from effective change agents about how they support and influence their CEOs to incorporate sustainability.

“Believe it or not, one of the tactics I adopt is one of just letting mini-crises come up … because it creates a sense of urgency. That blood rush to the brain just makes them more receptive to solutions or different solutions, because now there’s a need to deal with the problem. I just need to do the preparatory work for when the crisis hits, because I can see when it’s coming. Or you fall into the trap of fixing everything before anything ever goes wrong, so everyone goes: ‘Well what’s the big issue? Look at how great everything is!’”

— Change Agent (excerpt from executive guide)

About the research

This report was inspired by the Leadership Council of NBS-South Africa and conducted by Dr. Stephanie Bertels, Jess Schulschenk, Andrea Ferry, Vanessa Otto-Mentz and Esther Speck. The project involved a review of over 122 articles and 84 interviews with CEOs, chairpersons and board members, executive team members and internal and external change agents in South Africa and internationally. For additional information on the research, please see the last page of the report.

Stay tuned for the more research and tools on CEO Decision-Making for Sustainability to be published in the coming weeks.


Register for the main report & supporting tools for change agents and CEOs.

Receive the Materials First

You can also check out the primer for this research.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 88107

For more from this organization:

Network for Business Sustainability


Issuers of news releases and not csrwire are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content