The Sustainability Board Report 2022

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Synopsis

TSBR releases an annual report on ESG preparedness of corporate Board of Directors of the world’s largest 100 publicly listed companies.

This year we are going into our report’s fifth edition, tracking a global snapshot of boards and directors’ ESG engagement. We are delighted to be collaborating with Egon Zehnder on this publication, which previews our 2022 report’s key findings and combines them with Egon Zehnder’s own research and insights.

 

 

ESG Engagement

Our data from this year shows that directors continue to be increasingly engaged around ESG. We include two measures of ESG engagement, being those who are considered ESG conscious or have an awareness and knowledge on issues and those who are ESG competent or having the capacity to act on issues.

Committed to Committees

Our data indicates that over one quarter of the directors in the surveyed companies were members of a relevant sustainability committee with 45 percent on committees assessed to be ESG engaged. In 2019, this figure was only 16 percent, signalling significant improvement in representation of ESG engaged directors on committees.

 

There was also a rise in the percentage of boards with a relevant committee, from 54 percent in 2019 to 80 percent in 2022. We also identified an increase in dedicated sustainability/ESG committees, from 52 percent in 2020 to 69 percent in 2021.

The diversity difference

We are highlighting again a positive link between gender diversity and ESG engagement in the top 100 companies.

 

Diversity is considered by many to play a critical role in boards’ progress on their stewardship journeys, as demonstrated by our findings presented.

 

Egon Zehnder’s research has shown that more women and environmental experts, a younger average age, and shorter tenure on the board often have a positive effect on corporate sustainability. Diversity is not limited to gender and age, but should also embrace factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, lived experience, and geographical location although links between these factors and sustainability performance have not yet been measured.

 

Above all, a differing outlook or mindset is a necessary addition to enable boards to step up as stewards of sustainability.

Our detailed research methodology can be found here.

Year on year data comparison

2022

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1,260

Total # of directors on surveyed companies

0%

vs  2021

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404

# of female directors

9%

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80

# of relevant committees

13%

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339

Total # of directors on relevant committees

15%

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125

# of female directors on relevant committees

18%

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151

# of ESG engaged directors on relevant committees

27%

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63

# of ESG engaged female directors on relevant committees

24%

Gender Diversity Findings

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Boards: Stepping Up as Stewards of Sustainability

This report contains the key findings of TSBR 2022, subsidised by additional data on this showcase page.

There is a paradox inside boardrooms globally. While directors are growingly aware of ESG challenges, lack of preparedness and questions on how to create meaningful impact remain. Together with Egon Zehnder we shed light on this challenge and outline four recommendations for board leaders to step up as Stewards of Sustainability.

 

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The Sustainability Board Report 2022 Data Book

In addition to our collaborative report with Egon Zehnder that previews our TSBR 2022 findings, this data book contains additional data points on ESG board preparedness. This includes details about board committee setups and historical comparison of directors' ESG engagement.

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