Excellence IN GOVERNANCE Awards - Category & Criteria
Governance Excellence Awards Category
- Best sustainability, ethics and environmental governance program
- Best use of technology in governance, risk and compliance
- Best approach to board and committee support
- Best shareholder engagement by a governance team
- Best practices in managing boardroom diversity
- Best practices in value creation and strategic planning by the board
- Best overall corporate governance
- Joyce Borden-Reed CSCS distinguished contribution award
- CSCS (Peter Dey) Governance Achievement Award
1. Best sustainability, ethics and environmental governance program
Entrants will be judged on the quality, consistency, robustness and clarity of corporate social responsibility programs and reporting. This includes environmental, social and governance considerations, other non-financial factors and broad stakeholder engagement. Nominees should address climate change policies, environmental health and safety, anti-corruption framework, sustainability, social outreach and political engagement. Judges will consider the extent to which the company has integrated CSR issues into everyday business practices and the overall understanding of the short and long-term role the company plays in all the communities and environments in which it operates.
2. Best use of technology in governance, risk and compliance
Judges in this category will look at how effectively the governance team is applying technology in managing the enterprise-wide compliance function, board materials, ethics training and shareholder communications and electronic filing and voting. Specific areas of consideration will include records management and regulatory filings, management and distribution of board content including minutes, legal matter management and use of technology in shareholder voting processes.
3. Best approach to board and committee support
Nominees should discuss processes and procedures in place to ensure the most effective operation of the board and maximization of governance and strategic oversight functions. This will include, but is not limited to board and CEO evaluations, director education, mandate review, succession planning, on-boarding procedures, talent management and management of board materials.
4. Best shareholder engagement by a governance team
This category will consider a company’s overall shareholder engagement activities. Nominees should highlight written, online, and in-person communication practices. The judges will be looking for clarity, completeness and accuracy of written disclosures, the effectiveness of investor outreach activities and the level of non-financial stakeholder engagement. Accessibility of the board and the level of responsiveness to shareholder activities will be given particular consideration as will integration between the IR and governance functions.
5. Best practices in managing boardroom diversity
Entrants will be judged on the diversity of their board of directors, including disclosure of: a diversity policy, a definition of diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age, other), measurable diversity objectives and regular progress reporting, a director competency and skills matrix, director qualifications and detailed recruitment practices, a culture of inclusion, and other leading practices, such as prospective director interviews, tenure limits, restrictions on the number of boards on which incumbent directors serve, and recruiting of diversity candidates not previously known to the board and first-time directors.
6. Best practices in value creation and strategic planning by the board
Entrants will be judged on the role of the board in value creation and strategic planning, including evidence of: company performance (financial and non financial); board setting standards for vigorous value creation process, establishing ambitious value creation criteria, and leading management to develop an optimal value creation plan; board engaging in deep dives and due diligence into the company and its business model, industry and markets to understand the value drivers, innovation opportunities, and associated risks; board approving the strategic plan, including milestones, monitoring progress regularly, and calling for prompt corrective action to ensure goals are met, including increased goals as new unplanned/unanticipated opportunities arise; a reporting format providing frequent, timely and accurate information to the board on plan variances, and the board addressing plan variances quickly and directly: management providing concrete responses on how shortfall will be corrected, by whom and when; and a highly engaged level of functioning by the board and a shift in its primary focus towards value creation, with the Board Chair adopting a primary role in the foregoing.
7. Best overall corporate governance
To be recognized in this category companies will need to demonstrate a high level of effectiveness across the three pillars governance, risk and compliance. The judges will assess overall risk management processes, and how policies and procedures are implemented to achieve a truly enterprise-wide culture of governance and ethics. Furthermore, we will also consider how completely the company integrates governance structures into day-to-day business operations. Some areas of consideration will include board and executive compensation disclosures, CSR policies and procedures, investor outreach and communication, conflict resolution, subsidiary management, regulatory compliance operations, anti-fraud procedures and an understanding of the rights and needs of all stakeholders.
This award will look at coordination of governance, compliance, ethics and risk-management processes across the entire corporation (including all subsidiaries). The judges will consider the level of understanding and integration of good governance principles across all disciplines and a truly non-silo approach to achieving an ethical governance environment.
8. Joyce Borden-Reed CSCS distinguished contribution award
This award will recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the society over a period of years. Named after one of the founding board members of CSCS, it aims to identify those who have directly advanced the interests of CSCS and furthered the organization’s place in the Canadian governance community.
9. CSCS (Peter Dey) Governance Achievement Award
Considered to be the “Godfather of Canadian governance”, CSCS has Peter Dey to thank for its inception, as it formed around the time the Dey Report was issued, in order to respond to a growing demand from governance professionals for a forum of like-minded individuals. This award recognizes outstanding and ongoing achievement in the realm of corporate governance. This person need not be a CSCS member, or a corporate secretary, rather someone who has significantly impacted the way companies are governed, regulated, or how they communicate with investors and the wider community. This award is meant to recognize the outstanding contribution(s) by an individual to corporate governance in Canada.