Culture by Committee – the pros and cons

The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has published a report in collaboration with Mazars and ICSA: The Governance Institute on the role of board committees in delivering corporate responsibility and embedding values.

The report, ‘Culture by Committee – the pros and cons’, was produced with the intention of sparking a debate on how boards can best review the behaviours and culture in its organisation and provides insight into how boards are managing these issues now, regardless if a dedicated committee has been established or not.

Based on a survey of FTSE 350 companies, key findings include: 

  • Fifty-five of the FTSE 350 have board-level committees dealing with corporate responsibility, sustainability or ethics
  • Sixty-seven percent have a specific mandate to advise on embedding values and ethics
  • Sixty-nine percent have an independent NED as chair
  • These committees tend to be clustered in high-risk sectors

“Culture is high on the board agenda and rightly so. This is particularly true for the financial services sector in the wake of the financial crisis and the new regulatory regime for banks and insurance companies,” said Anthony Carey, Head of Board Practice at Mazars. “This report is very timely in addressing the different ways in which boards are addressing cultural and ethical issues. It highlights that one-size does not fit all and that it is for the board to decide whether having a specialised committee is the right way forward.”

The full report, ‘Culture by Committee – the pros and cons,’ is available to download here or at www.ibe.org.uk.

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