ESG and the Role of Shadow Boards



Most industries are beginning to see the influence ESG can have on accelerating their business. As part of the Armstrong Craven Review Vol. 8, this article looks at the opportunities surrounding ESG and the role Shadow Board members play in embedding ESG into businesses.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is a buzzword that has caught mainstream attention across most industries. ESG has become one of the key factors investors assess when deciding on their investment strategy. ESG looks beyond traditional investment return metrics and assesses how an organisation treats its stakeholders, wider society, and the planet. 

As ESG has gained traction with investors, companies have had to learn about the importance of ESG to cement the longevity of their business. Utilising a Shadow Board is one of the ways a company can better understand its impact on their workforce, community, and the environment.

Otherwise known as advisory, horizon, or mirror boards, a Shadow Board is set up within an organisation alongside a standard internal board structure. Shadow Boards are used in different ways, but they always allow people from different backgrounds, from external experts to employees, to give their perspectives on important business matters. 

Often sponsored by the CEO, the Shadow Board can support a company's internal strategies, advise on organisational change, provide insight on industry trends and, in some cases, be involved in critical business decisions. An organisation's Shadow Board will constantly be evolving. Still, it will always focus on being a space to allow creative thinking to emerge and a way for companies to future-proof their business.

We’ve dived deeper into the topic in our review, we explore:

  • How Advisory Boards allow for broader perspectives
  • Next Generation or Youth Boards
  • Considerations for setting up Shadow Boards

Shadow Boards can provide an opportunity for individuals to develop their strategic and leadership skills as well as build their personal networks. 

“There is a need to understand the dynamics and perspectives of younger generations in order to protect the future of existing businesses.”
-  Jacqui Gale, Chief Commercial Officer Portmeirion Group, CEO Wax Lyrical

Fundamentally, Shadow Boards should be considered a hotbed of knowledge and innovation, advising on a business's most critical decisions. 

There are many ways of bringing new perspectives into the boardroom. At Armstrong Craven, we undertake hundreds of talent intelligence projects gathering external insight to do just that, providing data for more informed decision-making. 

With 30+ years of talent research experience alongside our knowledge of ESG and Shadow Boards, we can help accelerate your business.

Complete the form above to download the full article from the AC Review.