Integration of sustainability in corporate governance

Sustainability-related risks and opportunities do not differ from the other risks and opportunities that can be linked to financial firms’ operations. Therefore, sustainability should not be managed in limited areas of corporate governance, but rather be an integral part of corporate governance as a whole. In this survey, FI studied how financial firms describe their management of sustainability aspects in corporate governance and how these aspects are integrated into the operations.

Finansinspektionen (FI) conducted a survey of how 67 firms describe in their public sustainability information how they integrate sustainability into their corporate governance. Since the requirement to prepare a sustainability report is new (as of year-end 2017), it is natural for the quality of the sustainability information to vary in the beginning. The results of the survey indicate that efforts to integrate sustainability in corporate governance are progressing, but many of the firms need to continue work on this area.

FI has observed that it is often difficult to interpret how sustainability policies are integrated at the operational level and whether these policies have an effect. The firms' descriptions of how sustainability-related risks are identified and managed are often ambiguous, and the results of the survey can be an indication that the firms have progressed to varying degrees in their work with these risks.

FI has also observed that it is difficult to compare the firms' sustainability-related information since there is no uniform structure for how this information should be presented. Transparency is also limited since the information is spread out among many different documents.

In order to be able to assess how far the firms have come in practice in their efforts to integrate sustainability into their corporate governance, FI will need to continue its dialogue with the firms. As part of this dialogue, we will use the results of the survey, which have increased FI's knowledge within the area of sustainability.

Laddar sidan