Please indicate the number of board members within your company (scope: board of Directors, Supervisory board, or equivalent) at year end.

  • Radia Guira

The board of Directors defines the strategic orientation of the company, examines and decides on important operations. It is responsible for the sound corporate governance of the organization, meeting legal and ethical requirements. It endeavours to promote long-term value creation by the company by considering the social and environmental aspects of its activities

This question is seeking information about the composition of your company’s board at the end of the year. It seeks to determine the total number of people who sat on either the governing ‘Board of Directors’, or its equivalent structure or a ‘Supervisory Board’ if one exists.

The intent here is to assess the size of your company’s leadership in terms of numbers, as this plays a significant role in corporate governance, decision making processes and oversight, which are all vital aspects to consider in ESG scoring.

You’ll simply need to supply a numerical figure, representing the total number of individuals that make up these boards or equivalent structures within your company, as it stood at the end of the most recent year.

Example: « Our company had 12 board members at the year-end. »

Understanding the Importance of Board Composition

When attempting to calculate your company’s ESG score, understanding the structure and composition of your board is crucial. The board of directors, supervisory board, or any equivalent is at the helm of governance in a company, influencing its strategic direction and accountability. The number of board members can reflect the company’s dedication to diverse perspectives, expertise, and effective oversight.

Having a clear picture of your board’s size and structure is the first step in evaluating your governance practices, which is a core component of the ESG criteria. But why does it matter? A diverse and well-structured board contributes to better decision-making, risk management, and can even improve company performance.

To get started, it is beneficial to review documents from leading companies and their governance reports, such as the Report of the Board of Directors for Airbus, which can provide a benchmark for best practices and insights into effective board governance.

Calculating Your Board Member Count Accurately

When you’re ready to report the number of board members within your company, make sure to consider all relevant entities that fall under the umbrella of « board of directors » or « supervisory board. » Remember to count all individuals who are officially recognized as board members at the end of the financial year, including both executive and non-executive members, as well as any external advisors who have a formal vote on board matters.

It’s important to note that companies may have different definitions or structures for their governing bodies. For instance, some may operate with a two-tier system, separating the supervisory board from the management board, as outlined in the Afep-Medef Code, a reference for corporate governance of listed companies. Ensure that you account for all tiers when reporting your numbers.

Accuracy is key, as this figure will play a critical role in your ESG reporting and can be cross-referenced against public records or disclosed information. For guidance on what counts as a board member and the intricacies of board structure, legal resources such as Lexology may offer valuable insights into corporate governance requirements and standards.

Best Practices in Reporting Your Board Member Count

Transparency and accuracy are pivotal in reporting the number of board members within your company. A clear and detailed account helps stakeholders understand the governance aspect of your ESG performance. It’s not just about providing a number; it’s about showcasing your commitment to good governance practices.

Ensure that your reporting aligns with international standards and frameworks such as GRI or SASB, which provide guidelines for disclosing governance information. This alignment helps maintain consistency and reliability in your ESG reporting. Additionally, consider reviewing and comparing your practices with peer companies to understand how your governance structure stands in your industry.

As you report this information, maintain a comprehensive record of your board’s composition over time. This historical data can be instrumental in demonstrating progress or changes in your governance approach, reflecting your commitment to continuously improving your ESG performance.

Remember, calculating your ESG score is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment to transparency and sustainability. By accurately reporting the number of board members within your company, you’re taking a significant step in reinforcing stakeholder trust and building a robust ESG profile.

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