The Italian Observatory on sustainability integration into corporate governance was founded in 2014 thanks to a partnership between ALTIS Graduate School of Business and Society of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and the CSR Manager Network, the Italian association of CSR and sustainability professionals. To understand the evolution of corporate governance toward sustainability, in 2021 our research team (Matteo Pedrini, Marco Minciullo, and Maria Cristina Zaccone) has investigated the firms listed in the top stock indexes in Italy (FTSE-MIB), France (CAC40), Germany (DAX30), Spain (IBEX35) and United Kingdom (top FTSE100) looking at the main annual documents (namely, the annual report, the corporate governance report, the remuneration report, the non-financial report, and the sustainability report, for a total of almost 900 documents), and submitted a survey to the constituents of the FTSE-MIB index. The aim was to understand if and how European listed firms integrated social and environmental issues into their corporate governance systems, with a focus on the allocation of responsibility to the board of directors and board committees, the integration of social and environmental issues in remuneration systems, the directors’ socio-environmental competencies, and sustainability’s integration into management systems. From its foundation, the observatory aimed to monitor the evolution of corporate governance systems beyond the economic interest of shareholders with the integration of sustainability-related issues, which led to several reflections on the different mechanisms to allocate responsibilities, set up remuneration policies, and design monitoring systems linked to socio-environmental issues. Corporate Governance Codes in Europe are embracing the concept of sustainability and setting broader objectives for corporate governance systems, promoting a long-term orientation and the creation of value for all stakeholders. The research was not only aimed at providing empirical evidence but also at offering food for thought and at setting the ground for a broader debate on what could be the most effective initiatives to favor sustainability’s integration into corporate governance systems.
|Publication status||Published - 2021|