Who are the best CEOs and what do they do that makes them the best? This year, when the Harvard Review of Business released their list of the Best Performing CEOs in the World, they changed the formula. Instead of looking at just stock market-driven metrics, they looked at how leaders performed in addressing environmental and social concerns as well as at corporate governance.
Leadership + LEED = Sustainable Future
Lars Rebien Sørensen of pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk won the number 1 spot this year.
“Corporate social responsibility is nothing but maximizing the value of your company over a long period,” Sørensen told the HRB. “In the long term, social and environmental issues become financial issues.”
What does this new emphasis on sustainable, long term results mean in practical terms?
Nova Nordisk, which specializes in treatments for diabetes, calls it a commitment to The Triple Bottom Line: social impact, environmental responsibility and financial performance. That means the company provides insulin to patients in the developing world at a deep discount. It means they are both limited and completely transparent about their political lobbying and that they have a clear and responsible policy regarding testing on animals.
Top CEOs Lead Companies that Pursue LEED Certification
It also means that Novo Nordisk’s US headquarters is LEED Silver Certified.
When making commitments to environmental stewardship, LEED certification is a quality that companies lead by other top CEOs are seeking out too. John Chambers, CEO of Cisco heads a company that has been pursuing LEED gold certification since at least 2011. Third-ranked CEO Pablo Isla of Inditex, is also a LEED leader. Their Eco-Efficient Stores all have LEED certification.
Being a top-CEO also, clearly, now means being a LEED leader.
Click here to read the full Harvard Business Review Article: The Best-Performing CEOs in the World (Nov., 2015)