The Strategic Power of ESG: What Boards Can and Must Do

Businesses and institutions face – and report on – financial risk. But there is an array of financially material issues which are equally, if not more, critical to success or failure. These include climate change, business ethics, operational impact on the environment, how diversity and inclusion is addressed, unwanted turnover, cyber security and slavery and child labor. These risks fall under the rubric of environmental, social and governance (ESG) management and reporting.

While ESG issues are commonly dealt with as risk factors, there is another important lens that boards and executive leadership may want to consider: Pursuing a sustainable business model can yield significant benefits to the business, ranging from improved value chains, increased durability and resilience, lower cost of capital, enhanced employee engagement, reduced potential for commoditization and increased differentiation and competitiveness.

Depending on the nature and sophistication of a business and its leadership, boards and the CEO should consider explicitly how they want to tackle ESG and its benefits. There are distinct stages of ESG maturity, each of which requires a different level of attention paid to staffing, operational compliance, how stakeholders are dealt with, governance models, reporting, etc. The speaker will describe these in detail and lay out the advantages of moving from one level to the next.

As boards review business strategy, ESG ought to be a crucial point of reflection.

Attendees will be provided with the slides and recording from the presentation, as well as a comprehensive white paper.


11:30 AM - 11:35 AM
Introduction by Deborah Rosati
11:35 AM - 12:20 PM
12:20 PM - 12:30 PM
Q&A Session
12:30 PM - 12:55 PM
Breakout Groups
Breakout into smaller session rooms facilitated by our Speakers as well as Kevin Joy and Peter Guo
12:55 PM - 1:00 PM
Closing Remarks
Thank you & session wrap up


  • Mary Larson, MBA, ICD.D (Partner, Consulting Services at MNP LLP)

    Mary Larson, MBA, ICD.D

    Partner, Consulting Services at MNP LLP

    Mary Larson is a Partner with MNP’s Consulting group in Montreal and is the national leader of the Organizational Renewal Practice. Mary helps clients clarify and build alignment around their strategies, build leadership capacity and embed cultures that foster outstanding execution.

    Mary has over 40 years’ experience in corporate strategy, innovation, marketing, ESG and risk management, go-to-market strategies, organizational design, sustainable investment, culture transformation, corporate governance, and CEO and C-suite succession planning.
    Mary is particularly focused on working with C-suite executives, CEOs and government leaders. Drawing on her extensive business experience and skill in asking the right questions, Mary helps clients become more effective in aligning their teams around their work, and successfully addressing the issues that drive both behavior and culture.
    Mary has worked with clients across North and South America, Europe and Asia, including the Business Development Bank of Canada, J.P. Morgan Chase, Fidelity, Bosch / Siemens, Cirque du Soleil, Duke Power, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and Western Union. She has held senior executive positions with McDonald’s Corporation in the U.S. and Alcan in Canada.  She started her career with the Boston Consulting Group in the U.S. and worked in Canada for McKinsey and Co., Oliver Wyman and A.T. Kearney.

    Mary, who works in both English and French, received her Bachelor of Arts (BA, Honors) from Princeton and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
    Mary is a designated graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She is board chair of McGill’s School for Continuing Studies, a board member of Prostate Cancer Canada and vice-president of the University Club of Montreal. She served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Finance and Sustainability and co-founded the International Women’s Forum in Canada.

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  • Edward Olson (Regional Leader, Enterprise Risk Services at MNP LLP)

    Edward Olson

    Regional Leader, Enterprise Risk Services at MNP LLP

    Edward Olson, CPA, CA, is Regional Leader, Enterprise Risk Services with MNP in Kelowna. Drawing on more than two decades of Canadian and international experience in public practice and industry, Edward delivers practical, meaningful business advice on strategy, risk and operations to private and public sector clients. This includes identifying barriers and strategic opportunities to fully embrace, understand and pursue success.

    Edward helps his clients with enterprise risk management, internal
    audit, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, process efficiency, performance improvement and value for money audits. He works directly with executive leadership teams, boards, internal audit and compliance departments as well as industry regulators.

    Prior to joining MNP, Edward led the Advisory Services practice for a Canadian public accounting firm, was Chief Audit Executive for a Canadian electric power and gas distribution / retail company, and partner in a boutique firm where he acted as an outsourced Chief Audit Executive for clients in the financial services industry. He also restructured and led an alternative energy services company.

    Edward earned a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm, Co-op) in accounting from the University of Alberta. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

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The Strategic Power of ESG: What Boards Can and Must Do

Single Ticket for Women Get On Board Members

Member Price CAD $50
The Strategic Power of ESG: What Boards Can and Must Do

Single Ticket for Guest of Women Get On Board

Standard Price CAD $75

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