Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, says corporations can help their bottom lines by incorporating sustainability into their business practices. However, if they restrict themselves to philanthropic support, they won’t see the difference their charity can make.
Tercek, formerly of Goldman Sachs, spoke about the difference sustainability can make with Christoph Lueneburger, leader of the global Sustainability Practice at Egon Zehnder International, in a video interview released Monday. The discussion was the first in Egon Zehnder’s Sustainability Dialogues series with top-level executives, and covered what corporations can do to improve sustainability initiatives and the tough criteria the Conservancy uses to select private sector partners.
Tercek said the commitment to improving business practices has to come from the top, and added that the Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental nonprofit with an annual operating budget well over $500 million, only works with companies whose CEOs are determined to move them along an environmental path. Those executives, he pointed out, must also make it clear to all levels of their companies how serious those sustainability initiatives are.