« An emerging dynamic of the 2014 proxy season is the move toward a greater focus on board effectiveness. Investors—through direct engagement, letters to boards and shareholder proposals—are increasingly communicating their expectations around governance and for companies to more clearly explain their governance decisions and approach on key issues. These developments are raising the importance for companies to have proxy disclosures that tell a clear governance story and to have company-investor dialogues that are ongoing and constructive. Examining this evolving landscape, EY’s Center for Board Matters released a new report – 2014 Proxy season preview: Boards face shifting investor priorities and expectations – to provide boards and those who support them with timely, data-rich analysis of the areas of investor focus going into the proxy season.
“There’s a new paradigm in company-investor engagement in that it’s no longer reserved for times of crisis, and in some cases directors are increasingly playing a role. Companies are recognizing that a, constructive approach to engagement, particularly with long-term investors, can build trust and investor support,” said Allie Rutherford, Director of Corporate Governance in the EY Center for Board Matters.
Key governance priorities for investors this year include:
Board composition and renewal: Investors are highlighting board composition and renewal as a priority in 2014, saying they want to know that the right people – those with qualification aligned with the company’s strategic goals, stakeholders and risk oversight needs – are in the boardroom. Investors are increasingly raising these topics in discussions with companies.
Board structure and accountability: Investors list board structure and accountability as a priority and these investors are continuing to push for the annual election of all directors under a majority vote standard. Some investors are also looking to see that a board has a strong independent chair or lead director with clearly defined, robust responsibilities.
Sustainability: Investors also include environmental and social topics as a key priority. Combined, these topics continue to represent the largest number of shareholder proposals submitted. Investors are focused on environmental sustainability and human rights and labor conditions, including across a company’s global supply chain. Shareholder requests for enhanced disclosure, monitoring and management of these sustainability related risks are growing.
Executive compensation: More than 2400 companies with annual say-on-pay (SOP) votes will continue to gauge investor support for their compensation policies and practices, and 2014 will mark the second SOP vote for companies that elected triennial frequencies. Some shareholders also are submitting proposals targeting specific pay practices, such as to limit the accelerated vesting of equity awards and to adopt or enhance executive clawback policies, including asking for disclosure of when decisions to claw back pay have been made.
Political and lobbying spending and oversight: A number of investors continue to prioritize requests for enhanced transparency and oversight around a company’s political and lobbying expenditures in the absence of SEC rulemaking on this topic. This year, shareholder proposal seeking board oversight and disclosure of political and lobbying expenditures are the most common in terms of numbers, with more than 120 submitted to companies across a wide range of size and industry ».
Cet article, rédigé par Marc Bertoneche et Cornis van der Lugt, est récemment paru dans Director Notes, une publication du Conference Board. Les auteurs présentent les résultats d’un modèle d’affaires efficace pour évaluer les retombées financières des actions environnementales et du développement durable.
L’article explique le fonctionnement du modèle d’affaires à l’aide de deux indicateurs principaux : (1) les actions de développement durable et (2) les indicateurs de performance financière. Ce modèle conceptuel est illustré par l’utilisation de plusieurs variables représentées dans le tableau ci-dessous.
Je vous invite à lire cet article qui fera sans doute école dans le design d’un cadre méthodologique qui réconcilie les principes du développement durable avec les impératifs économiques et financiers des entreprises.
While much has been published on the business case for sustainability during the last decade, businesses have been slow to adopt the green innovation and sustainability agenda. Reasons include a lack of consistency in the indicators employed by analysts, and a failure to effectively incorporate financial value drivers into the equation. This article defines a green business case model that includes seven core financial value drivers of special interest to financial analysts.
In the following pages, we present a business case model that focuses on environmental action areas known to sustainability experts and their link with important indicators widely used by financial officers and investors. We present a model in which sustainability initiatives are assessed in an economic manner and pursued on the basis of a clear link to financial performance. The model positions sustained financial performance and market value as the ultimate test, with cost benefit analysis at the heart of its approach. As far as dependent variables are concerned, we suggest research and analysis should focus on the core financial value drivers defined by Alfred Rappaport, author of Creating Shareholder Value, and others since the 1980s. These drivers help define a longer-term approach that is forward looking and strategic.
Voici un court billet publié par Cindy Mehallow dans greenbiz.com sur le constat d’une relation positive entre la mise en oeuvre de politiques de développement durable et la performance des entreprises. L’auteure s’appuie sur trois études qui semblent démontrer l’influence déterminante des pratiques de bonne gouvernance, notamment le développement durable, sur le succès financier des entreprises. Un article à lire.
« Recent research found high-sustainability corporations significantly outperformed their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market and accounting performance.The payoff: These high sustainability companies « significantly outperform(ed) their counterparts over the long-term, both in terms of stock market and accounting performance. »
Voici un rapport de Deloitte sur l’importance à accorder aux parties prenantes (stakeholders), dont les actionnaires (shareholders), dans la réalisation du développement durable et la création de valeur à long terme.
Vous pouvez télécharger le document en version PDF
How stakeholders view a company, what they expect of the company, and how they understand the company’s impact on society and the environment, in addition to its financial results, can affect business value. Determining the impact on value of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to multiple stakeholders is becoming central to how many companies craft their sustainability strategy and report on their sustainability performance. This opens the door to a new vision of the business objective: enlightened value maximization, which seeks greater alignment between various stakeholders to generate long-term business value.
This paper describes:
The impact shareholders and other stakeholders can have on corporate valuations by identifying and reacting to ESG risks
How stakeholder perception of the company and its actions are likely to drive the corporate agenda, including ESG performance goal setting
Strategic steps that can help a company mitigate the impact of stakeholder action on its bottom line, cost of capital and risk, and leverage new opportunities to generate business value.
Voici un rapport du Conference Board qui décrit comment une entreprise peut récompenser les efforts liés au développement durable. Les administrateurs de sociétés sont de plus en plus interpelés sur ces questions de « sustainability » et la direction doit s’assurer de bien mesurer les résultats accomplis afin de récompenser les réussites dans ce domaine.
« Sustainability issues are becoming increasingly common in the boardroom, particularly as the volume of shareholder proposals regarding environmental and social policies has grown in recent proxy seasons. One area receiving attention from directors is the link between sustainability performance and executive compensation. This Director Notes discusses corporate directors’ increasing interest in sustainability matters, progress toward a notion of performance assessment that incorporates nonfinancial elements, and companies’ efforts to explain how they link incentive awards to sustainability targets in response to shareholder proposals filed on this topic since 2009. »
Voici un article très pertinent, sur un sujet d’actualité, récemment publié dans theconversation.edu.au et partagé via Richard Leblanc. Les organisations font de plus en plus état des actions entreprises dans le domaine de la RSE et du développement durable et elles mettent en place des mécanismes de suivi qui tient compte de toutes les parties prenantes et qui se matérialisent à plus long terme. Il s’agit d’un domaine de recherche relativement récent, notamment l’étude portant sur les pratiques visant à compenser les résultats de la direction en cette matière.
Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, quelques extraits de résultats de recherche dans ce domaine :
« Are sustainability-dependent executive bonuses the answer to saving the planet ? Research recently conducted by the Centre for Corporate Governance at the University of Technology, Sydney, examined whether a sample of Australia’s leading corporations are rewarding their executives for achieving sustainability targets as well as financial targets.
The question of how sustainability might be linked to executive remuneration was part of a broader study of how companies are integrating sustainability objectives into their core business strategies.
Most large companies in Australia have developed sustainability strategies over recent years, but in a rather piecemeal fashion in response to specific external demands – reducing greenhouse gases, implementing family-friendly policies and so forth. They are now looking to find ways of measuring, monitoring and integrating these programs into their overall business planning.
The research report, entitled Steering Sustainability, was commissioned by think tank Catalyst Australia as part of its Full Disclosure campaign. The campaign’s objective was to explore the growing influence of corporations in society and assist communities in articulating what standards and behaviour they expect of companies.
Once strategies are decided upon, lines of responsibility and accountability must be clearly defined such that progress is monitored, measured and fed back into strategy development and reward schemes. Rewarding executives for sustainability performance could be the answer to ensuring companies do what they promise. As the old saying goes, companies need to “put their money where their mouth is” – in more ways than one ».