Glass Lewis hosted a proxy talk with Veena Ramani of Ceres to discuss sustainability competence on the board, and Ceres’ new Lead from the Top report on that topic.GL-Blog-Images-07

With investors putting increased focus on both board composition and sustainability, having the right mix of skills and experience to prepare for the long-term is more important than ever. Ms. Ramani discusses how companies can identify appropriate new candidates and bring existing directors up to speed, and how investors can assess whether companies are taking the steps to become sustainability-competent.

You can listen to the audio here. For more information on the subject, the Lead from the Top report is available at Ceres’ website.



Veena Ramani, Program Director, Capital Market Systems at Ceres
Courteney Keatinge (moderator), Director, Environmental, Social & Governance Research at Glass Lewis


  • 0:50 Welcome and introduction
  • 2:30 Veena gives background on the Ceres report
  • 5:20 Assessing sustainability competence: board skills matrix
  • 7:27 Balancing sustainability competence with overall board competence
  • 10:50 Can search firms help in identifying untapped diverse candidates?
  • 12:40 Sustainability training for existing board members
  • 15:11 Once on the board, where can sustainability experts make an impact?
  • 17:24 Sustainability advisory councils
  • 19:50 Absent a skills matrix, how can investors tell if a board is sustainability competent?
  • 21:55 Accessing the Lead from the Top report
  • 22:24 Final thoughts: putting sustainability competence into a wider framework of effective board decision-making
  • 24:15 Wrap-up & follow up