Daring to Leap forum invites attendees to redefine corporate purpose while investing in ESG

A first-of its kind global online forum on environmental, social, and governance and corporate purpose promises to deliver ideas and opportunities to learn the new business essentials.

Daring to Leap: ESG and Corporate Purpose on December 3 features more than 30 experts and thought leaders from around the world.

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

JWN Energy spoke with Faith Goodman of VeriStell Institute, 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.

Goodman said a global shift is redefining the contract between businesses and its communities from simply “being responsible” to creating real social value. This means that the sector will be called on to show meaningful progress and transparency on issues of ESG and corporate purpose.

“Within this shifting societal context, the oil and gas sector remains under pressure on multiple fronts – not the least of which is the growing societal angst regarding the use of fossil fuels,” said Goodman. “While society is demanding an ‘off-fossil fuel’ agenda, the reality is that this cannot happen overnight.”

Goodman said the complexity of the industry challenges continues to keep piling up: the threat of sustained low commodity prices, ongoing demand destruction due to COVID-19 and electrification, higher cost of capital threats, fewer options for capital and regulatory changes.

“And to not slow the onslaught down, the European Central Bank moved last week to embed further oversight ensuring that “financial regulators are not going to leave climate supervision solely to governments,” said Goodman. “The level of transparency, reporting, and scrutiny will now be exacerbated through multiple oversight mechanisms.”

The post COVID-19 race for stakeholder trust, talent, relevance, and survivability has begun. Firms would be well served to consider heightened action on ESG and corporate purpose, said Goodman.

What is the benefit/value of attending Daring to Leap for those working in the energy sector?

Goodman: The Daring to Leap 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.

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 energy sector because of what I call the “countervailing hard truths.” Societies and governments 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. The cumulative impact of these risks or hard truths will require clarity and a lack of ambiguity from corporate leaders. Business as usual is not an option. Leadership as usual is also not an option. 

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 to 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.

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. The Daring to Leap conference is hosted by The Walrus and the VeriStell Institute.

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