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Bonuses and sustainability performance

Last updated on January 6, 2023

Can we change the planet by connecting executive bonuses and sustainability performance? I’ve been asking myself and my clients this question for years. Yesterday, the ASU School of Sustainability published an article about it in their newsletter.

It seems like common sense to me. The best way to make global considerations personal is by tying it to compensation. The article quotes compensation consultant Seymour Burchman as saying, “Five years ago this [connected compensation] wasn’t part of the conversation.” In most of my client companies, it still isn’t discussed. (Burchman is a managing director at Semler Brossy.)

Compensation can also be tied to the larger sustainability picture. We can associate the same metrics with any of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Are your corporate decisions working to reduce inequalities (SDG 10)? Is your company lobbying for leaders and legislation that support peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16)? Are you providing a living wage throughout the supply chain to eliminate poverty (SDG 1)?

We need to assert influence wherever we can to ensure sustainability progress.

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