PwC’s Sustainable Value Governance

A framework to create lasting enterprise value by aligning ESG action with long-term strategy

Why is sustainability governance important?

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) is a label for a fundamental shift in the forces that can drive business value and decision making. The shifts include natural forces that can include storms, floods, heat and drought as well as changing demographics, rising inequality and political volatility. The shift also includes regulatory pressures like the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission's proposed rule on climate disclosures, the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and emerging rules under other standards. And, perhaps most importantly, there has been a fundamental shift in market demand. Employees, customers and investors want to work for, buy from and invest in companies that are aligned with their personal values.

PwC’s Sustainable Value Governance framework can help business leaders devise a thoughtful, strategic response to these three "ESG forces" — natural, regulatory and market — that can drive value by reducing risks, efficiently meeting regulatory requirements and creating a competitive advantage.

95% of leaders say their company is prioritizing ESG reporting more now than before the SEC climate disclosure rule was proposed—and that they are taking proactive, compliance-related measures.

Source: Change in the Climate: How US business leaders are preparing for the SEC’s climate disclosure rule. Survey commissioned with Workiva. PwC, 2023.

Many factors point to the need to integrate sustainability into a company’s long-term strategy

It is important to differentiate between ESG corporate strategy and ESG reporting. Look to align your enterprise on a focused number of high-impact ESG goals and metrics needed to drive long-term value creation, while responding to the expansive pressures listed below.

Click around the circle to learn more about these factors coming to light across the business landscape.

What is PwC’s Sustainable Value Governance framework? 

The PwC Sustainable Value Governance framework:

  • Takes on an important component of meeting increased regulatory requirements around climate and other ESG issues
  • Communicates a clear, concise strategy narrative across the organization
  • Integrates the ESG needs of your company’s particular stakeholder community with other strategic considerations to identify impactful ESG investments and actions
  • Provides a feedback loop of performance data to senior management
  • Imparts a corporate governance structure that helps senior leaders to allocate investments and oversee compliance effectively
  • Structures investments in regulatory compliance so they also produce information and enable action that can be accretive to long-term value
  • Develops a strategy that sets long-term ESG goals and shorter term milestones
  • Documents the entire process

There are two main elements at the heart of the Sustainable Value Governance framework:

The Sustainable Value Matrix:

The Sustainable Value Matrix maps stakeholder ESG needs on top of risk management, growth and other strategic concerns to produce a three-dimensional picture of the company’s potential market opportunities and risks.

The Sustainable Value Book:

The Sustainable Value Book is both a strategy setting and corporate governance process. The book provides a clear, concise strategy narrative, progress reporting, message discipline and control and documents the supporting data. It helps communicate the strategic plan through the organization and forms the basis of external communications.

These elements are combined with execution planning and strong data and reporting structures. By drawing information together and translating it across functional areas, Sustainable Value Governance can help you create an enterprise-wide ESG strategy that builds trust with stakeholders, satisfies investor and regulatory demands and differentiates your company from competitors.

How does it work?

The Sustainable Value Matrix

Defines ESG issues you’ll take action on by engaging with stakeholders, analyzing risks and identifying opportunities to assess impacts on long-term value

Execution strategy

Integrates company ESG values into long-term strategy by setting goals, milestones and incentives

Internal reporting structures

Confirms the right information gets to the right people at the right time and provides a basis for strategy, decision-making and investor-grade reporting

The Sustainable Value Book

Organizes the process of building out the framework—including the ESG narrative, clear lines of responsibility, and investor-grade information as a basis for management oversight and reporting—as well as provides verifiable documentation of the entire process

Benefits of Sustainable Value Governance

Sustainable Value Governance is a thoroughly documented oversight and strategic process that can help you:

  • Prepare for various regulatory requirements on ESG-related matters, including the EU’s CSRD and potential US SEC requirements to disclose corporate governance processes.
  • Support CEO, CFO and Board approvals/signatures where required by regulations and present a strong narrative for required disclosures.
  • Assess which ESG investments and actions can lead to sustainable value.
  • Identify ESG investments and actions that don’t make sense for the company and provide a principled, well-documented reason for saying “no”.
  • Provide investors with a clear, concise narrative of the company’s ESG strategy and progress, and provide the data to support it.
  • Build trust by aligning with your stakeholder community’s ESG values and providing transparent reporting on progress.

With PwC’s Sustainable Value Governance, you can realize the value of ESG as a strategic asset in helping meet regulatory requirements, attracting talent, creating customer loyalty and continuing to build trust among stakeholders.

Contact us

Jamie Gamble

Managing Director, PwC US


Maria Castañón Moats

Leader, Governance Insights Center, PwC US


Kevin O’Connell

Trust Solutions Sustainability Leader, PwC US


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