TSBR 2021 Methodology

Research Process Flow

TSBR Methodoolgy Process Flow.png

Board ESG Policy Assessment

All data were collected from July to August 2021 and taken from the surveyed companies’ websites. Since all organisations are publicly listed, the publishing of their corporate governance policy details is a legal obligation.


The proxy used for ESG preparedness at board level is the presence of a relevant board committee that stipulates ESG issues in its committee charter.


Terminology for ‘sustainability committee’ varies. Some committees are named ‘ESG’ or ‘CSR’ committee.

Some sustainability responsibilities are part of shared committees such as Corporate Governance and/or Nomination Committee, Risk, or Public Policy/Affairs committees.

So long as a sustainability narrative is clearly stipulated in their charters, these are referred to as relevant committees. Businesses that do not disclose any sustainability policy as part of their board committee charters do not qualify for the directors ESG consciousness assessment. Directors must be assigned to a relevant committee to qualify.

Director’s ESG Consciousness Assessment


Directors’ ESG consciousness was assessed against an ESG checklist. The checklist reads:


  1. Executive or board experience actively involved in sustainability strategy or governance (1)

  2. Board member of a business material (under SASB) non-profit organisation, foundation, charity, or fellowship of an international campaign body (2)

  3. Formal ESG/sustainability certification/accreditation or published paper/research/book or report in the area, or teaching capacity (3)

For the 2021 report, a broader data screening was applied. For example, significant data was found through media screenings that took notable sustainability exposure, as per our checklist, into account. New data points uncovered were for example those of disclosed public speeches of directors, or minutes of relevant seminars and forums. This additional data of directors’ ESG consciousness, lead to a significantly improved result than in previous years, shifting from 17% in 2020 to 40%. We will continue to use this methodology for future reports.

In cases where the ESG consciousness of a director was questionable, the data point was marked ‘for review’ and the assessment was then adjudicated by a different researcher.


(1) For example: Published interviews with individuals expressing details about their’ business’ approach to ESG/sustainability, or e.g. published speeches or strategy

(2) For example: WEF (most common), UN Global Compact, CECP, WBCSD, think tanks with sustainability focus such as Aspen Institute, Salzburg Global Seminar, etc.

(3) For example: GCB.D, IDP-C, Harvard Corporate Governance Forum publication, author of a relevant book