OECD Launches Governance Principles for Green Transition

New principles for corporate governance aimed at boosting firms’ sustainability and resilience have been formally released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The revised G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance – designed to help companies “navigate changing capital markets while promoting market confidence and financial stability” – were also endorsed at the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders Summit in India at the weekend. Revisions to the principles include new and updated guidance on shareholder rights, the role of institutional investors, corporate disclosure and transparency, and the responsibilities of boards. They also offer guidance on sustainability and resilience to help companies manage climate-related and other sustainability risks and opportunities. “The revised Principles mark a significant, renewed international consensus and a strong desire from all OECD and G20 members to strengthen guidance on companies’ sustainability and resilience, to help them support the green transition and adapt to climate risks,” said OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann. The new guidance promotes disclosure of sustainability-related information, clarifies the responsibilities of boards on sustainability matters, and recommends dialogue between companies and their shareholders and stakeholders on sustainability matters. It also covers the wider range of issues that boards are now expected to manage, including diversity, risk management and the interests of non-shareholder stakeholders, and considers the evolving role of institutional investors through recommendations on stewardship codes, ESG rating and index providers, and proxy advisors. The OECD also released the 2023 edition of the OECD Corporate Governance Factbook, which tracks how countries implement the Principles.

 

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