More than half of the UK's 100 largest listed companies now have an environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee at board level as they join the global push for corporate responsibility.
That is according to new analysis by Mattison Public Relations, which shows that 54% of FTSE 100 companies now have an ESG committee.
This rises to 100% of companies in both the mining and water, gas and utilities sectors, including BP, Shell, Anglo American, BHP, Glencore, and Rio Tinto.
By contrast, only 13% of FTSE 100 companies in the non-bank financial services sector – including insurers, asset managers and retail investment platforms – have ESG committees.
“UK plc is showing its commitment to tackling climate change and reducing its impact on the broader environment,” said Maria Hughes, director at Mattison Public Relations.
“If you are a FTSE100 company without an ESG committee at board level then you are now in a shrinking minority.
“Companies that are improving their ESG performance are doing so by setting net zero-goals, reducing their emissions and investing in carbon offsets. An ESG committee facilitates the improvement of their ESG performance.
“Sectors with low environmental impacts and no ESG committee are missing an easy opportunity to improve their ESG credentials.”
The proportion of FTSE 100 companies with an ESG committee at board level by sector is shown below:
Of the 54 FTSE 100 companies which have ESG committees, 56% are comprised entirely of non-executive directors.
Mattison Public Relations said that this allows companies to bring directors with expertise in ESG onto their boards, and also allows them to exercise greater independent oversight of their ESG performance.
Hughes added: “Companies which have ESG committees made up entirely of independent non-executive directors allows the committee to provide constructive feedback and scrutinise the ESG programme of the company they work for.”
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