To enable peer-comparisons and benchmarking, The Conference Board ESG Center offers a portfolio of data and analyses on corporate governance, proxy voting, sustainability, citizenship and philanthropy, and communications and public relations.
An analysis of corporate board practices at Russell 3000 companies, based on 2018 SEC filings and organizational documents (charters, bylaws, board committee charters, and corporate governance principles). For comparative purposes, data are compared with the S&P 500 index and segmented by 11 business sectors under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), five annual revenue groups, and three asset value groups. Covered practices include board composition and leadership, the profile of the corporate director (including age, gender, tenure, qualifications and skills), the process for directors’ nomination, election and removal, and other policies applicable to board members such as mandatory retirement, resignation, overboarding, and indemnification. The project is a partnership between The Conference Board and ESG data-mining firm ESGAUGE, and it was developed with the support of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance (successor of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi)), Debevoise & Plimpton and Russell Reynolds Associates.
Benchmarks on director compensation elements, including cash retainer, meeting fees, full value shares, stock options, retainer for chairmanship and committee membership, and perquisites. A collaboration with NASDAQ OMX and NYSE Euronext.
CEO and Executive Compensation Practices
The review of total compensation, base salaries, equity-based incentives, and the mix of compensation elements for the CEO and other named executives of U.S. companies in the Russell 3000 and S&P 500. A collaboration with Gallagher, MylogIQ, and ESG analytics firm ESGAUGE.
Shareholder Activism and Proxy Voting
Proxy Voting Analytics is The Conference Board’s post-season shareholder voting report and reviews, across several years, the outcome of annual general meetings (AGMs) held at Russell 3000 corporations. The study details aggregate data on shareholder proposals, management proposals, proxy contests, and other shareholder activism campaigns, segmenting such data for 11 business sectors in accordance with GICS, the Global Industry Classification Standard. To highlight differences between small and larger companies, findings in the Russell 3000 sample are also compared with those for companies that, at the time of their AGM, were in the S&P 500 index. The study is developed in partnership with Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and in collaboration with FactSet and ESG data mining firm ESGAUGE.
Statistics on succession events regarding chief executive officers (CEOs) of S&P 500 companies. In addition to updates on historical trends, this report features a series of notable case studies and a detailed review of shareholder activism requesting more rigorous succession planning and disclosure practices.
An analysis of trends in corporate sustainability reporting drawn from data on sustainability disclosure and performance of companies in 26 countries, spanning Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. In all, data on 90+ environmental and social practices for close to 6,000 companies are analyzed to reveal how companies are responding to the increased pressure to disclose their nonfinancial impacts. The report is complemented by a comprehensive database and online benchmarking tool, the Sustainability Practices Dashboard. The Dashboard allows users to generate customized charts by segmenting data by sector, revenue group, region, and country.
Corporate Citizenship, Philanthropy, and Social Impact
Published by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, the annual Business Contributions to the Arts report analyzes trends in how companies of all sizes contribute to the arts. Although generally delivered through philanthropic budgets, arts support also comes from marketing and sponsorship budgets, as well as specific budgets, such as a CEO/Chairman/President budget. The data is used by both companies to strategize and by arts nonprofits to help understand corporate funding patterns.
In the wake of the devastating hurricane season in the fall of 2017, The Conference Board began to look at how corporate members strategize and execute disaster philanthropy programs. The research has become particularly relevant as climate change threatens to increase the number and intensity of future disasters. Data includes information on corproate decision-making practices, funding sources, contribution types, and priorities along the disaster philanthropy spectrum.
In collaboration with Mission Measurement and with a sponsorship from Moody's, The Conference Board publishes an annual study that analyzes social outcomes across a range of social issues. The project draws on the comprehensive outcomes data collected by Mission Measurement through its Impact Genome Project® and The Conference Board’s expert analysis to deliver insights including: the outcomes that are most commonly funded by companies; the efficacy rates and costs per outcome of social outcomes; and the importance of a data-driven approach to social impact measurement.
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
The Conference Board reviews organizational and leadership practices on public relations and employee communications. Comparative data include CCOs’ professional background, reporting relationships, functions and responsibilities, budgetary resources, performance measurement standards, outsourcing policies, and the use of social media.