High-quality corporate governance contributes to long-term company performance. Companies need to improve governance practices and reporting if they are to demonstrate their positive impact on the economy and wider society.
Continued high-profile corporate failures, such as Thomas Cook, Carillion and Patisserie Valerie, have raised concerns in the UK around many companies’ effectiveness in considering and reporting on risks to their long-term sustainability.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) revamped the UK Corporate Governance Code in 2018, introducing guidelines for boards to engage with workforces, investigate concerns over conditions, pay or harassment, and scrutinise corporate culture. But in its recent annual review, the UK financial watchdog warned that although there ‘were pockets of good reporting’, many of Britain’s biggest companies are still taking a ‘tick-box’ approach to try to achieve full compliance with the code rather than provide any meaningful explanation of how they follow the principles in practice.
The FRC found that many large, listed companies prioritised ‘strict compliance’ while failing to improve corporate culture, diversity or consider the views of shareholders or the public. And, while the majority of companies declared themselves fully code compliant, ‘many annual reports lacked information on the outcomes of governance policies and practices, including any areas for future improvement’. Other analysis concluded that many companies were failing to implement a ‘clear purpose’ or effective corporate culture, instead substituting ‘slogans or marketing lines’ and that ‘very few’ committees had so far detailed how they have engaged with workers.
The FTC has urged companies to put greater focus on the outcomes of implementing the code in 2020, ‘in particular on the board’s effectiveness and decision-making, and how this has led to sustainable benefits for shareholders and wider stakeholders’. It also warned that reporting on workforce-related issues needs to improve to meet investor demands and reflect modern-day workforces, and encouraged distinctive reporting of a high quality to differentiate the approaches companies take and provide confidence to investors.
Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across Europe for 2020. The awards recognise the outstanding leadership from boards who have raised the bar to ensure that strong corporate governance plays an essential part in protecting and enhancing long-term value for all stakeholders. Our awards program is a vital part of our continuing mission to elevate corporate governance standards globally.
For those companies and individuals who have made it to the top of the mountain for 2020, we salute you for leading the way
EUROPEAN COMPANY AWARD WINNERS
|Best Corporate Governance||Financial Services||Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)|
|Best Corporate Governance||Insurance||AXA S.A.|
|Best Corporate Governance||Electric Power Transmission||Terna SpA|
|Best Corporate Governance||Pulp & Paper||Stora Enso Oyj|
|Best Corporate Governance||Conglomerate||Veolia|
|Best Corporate Governance||Engineering||Smiths Group Plc|
|Best Corporate Governance||Automotive||BMW Group AG|
|Best Corporate Governance||Food & Beverage||Nestle S.A.|
|Best Corporate Governance||Construction||Balfour Beatty Plc|
|Best Corporate Governance||Renewable Energy||Acciona S.A.|
|Best Corporate Governance||Holdings||Atlantia SpA|
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD WINNERS
|Banking Governance||Financial Services||Bank of Cyprus|
|Insurance Governance||Insurance||RSA Insurance Group Plc|
|Outstanding Work in Governance||Ms Rita Sotamaa||Unilever Plc|
|Outstanding Work in Governance||Mr David Frick||Nestle S.A|
BEST CEO AWARD WINNERS
|Electric Power Transmission||Terna SpA||Mr Luigi Ferraris|
|Pulp & Paper||Stora Enso Oyj||Ms Annica Bresky|
|Food & Beverage||Nestle S.A||Mr Mark Schneider|
|Renewable Energy||Acciona S.A||Mr Jose Manuel Entrecanales|
Please note that the company & individual winners for “The Middle East & Africa” region will be announced in the Spring 20 edition.