Webinar Wrap-Up: Good Governance from a Multi-Stakeholder Perspective

Vincent Tophoff | September 23, 2014

The global financial crisis emphasized the necessity of good corporate governance. Companies, investors, civil society, and governments all became part of this critical agenda. In response to the importance of and increasing demand for this information, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)’s latest version of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G4) focuses in on the role that senior management and boards of directors play in managing critical non-financial issues within companies and the world around them.

Earlier this year, Susanne Katus, External Relations & Communications Officer, GRI North America hosted a webinar that explored the link between good corporate governance and sustainability performance management, looking at the best practice of companies that embed sustainability into their core business strategies—not just from the bottom-up but also from the top-down. The webinar included presentations from Neil Beckingham, Senior Sustainability Manager at The Mosaic Company, Barbara Pomfret, Senior ESG Analyst at Bloomberg L.P, and Vincent Tophoff.

During the webinar, Susanne demonstrated the demand for increased transparency and guided us through the relevant parts of GRI’s new G4 Guidelines. She showcased how the G4 governance disclosures are carved into seven meaningful groups to focus on the highest governance body’s role in defining purpose, value, and strategy in the reporting process.

Neil discussed the role of Mosaic’s highest governance body in driving the sustainability agenda forward and highlighted the key challenges they face in managing the associated risk and opportunities. He explained Mosaic’s three main pillars of sustainable development: economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality.

Vincent presented the findings of IFAC research that showed that good governance practices actually contribute to sustainable value creation. The global crises demonstrated clearly that governance should not be an add-on function—checking off a number of formal requirements but taking it no further. Instead, good governance affects the entire organizational cycle of strategic planning, resource utilization, value creation, accountability, and assurance. Taking a wider approach to governance should ensure that good governance is not “bolt on” but “built in”—integrated into all aspects of an organization. When organized and managed in this fashion, governance optimally supports building sustainable value in organizations and society.

Webinar participants also received a guided tour through the Bloomberg Terminal from Barbara, demonstrating the corporate governance data Bloomberg collects; how Bloomberg integrates governance data into its analytics; the source of this information; and identification of high-performers across different industries.

A recording of the webinar is available on the GRI North American blog. Access to the webinar is free for members of GRI’s Organizational Stakeholder and Sector Leaders Programs and is available for a fee to non-members.

As always, your feedback and comments are encouraged!

Vincent Tophoff

Senior Technical Manager

Vincent Tophoff is senior technical manager with the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of IFAC. Previously, he was a partner at INTE-Q Integration Management, a management accountancy consulting firm in The Netherlands and senior lecturer at the postgraduate accountancy program of the Vrije University in Amsterdam.  See more by Vincent Tophoff

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