This issue brief explores early business responses to COVID-19, making recommendations on how companies can build greater long-term resilience through improved approaches to corporate risk management, human & social capital, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration.

This issue brief explores how companies can improve their long-term thinking and planning and better prepare for future events and disruptions by:

  • Exploring the key attributes of resilient organizations and systems
  • Distilling emerging lessons from private sector responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and other disruptions
  • Providing recommendations on how companies can increase long-term resilience based on their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and other systemic shocks.

The analysis and recommendations are based on insights gathered via WBCSD member discussions and a series of interviews with companies headquartered in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It also incorporates insights on the impact of COVID-19 from the 2020 GlobeScan / SustainAbility, an ERM Company, Leaders Survey and further draws on a broader review of business responses to COVID-19 and long-term resilience.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) developed the issue brief in partnership with ERM through the ERM SustainAbility Institute. It is part of a series of interim outputs linked to WBCSD’s current refresh of its Vision 2050, a landmark 2010 report that laid out a pathway to a world in which nine billion people are able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century. WBCSD is working together with 40 of its member companies, including ERM, to update this work and again provide business with a common agenda for action over the decade to come.

Download the issue brief