Brussels, 28 September 2016

Creating Sustainable Companies Summit

Purpose, Governance and the Long-Term

Bringing together leading thinkers, businesses and policymakers to chart the way to the next generation of corporations.

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Summit agenda



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00:00 - 00:00 / Networking and Drinks Reception

A welcome reception will be hosted on the evening of Tuesday 27 September (day before the summit) and will start at 18:30. 

Tickets are available here:

09:40 - 10:00 / Registration

Participants’ arrival. Light refreshments will be served

10:00 - 10:20 / Opening

Richard Howitt

Member of the European Parliament for the Labour Party for the East of England

Filip Gregor

Head of the Responsible Companies Section at Frank Bold

10:30 - 11:25 / Plenary Session

Define the Purpose of the Corporation

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John Kay

Well known author, economist, FT columnist and visiting professor at LSE

Marcello Palazzi

Founder of Progressio Foundation for Human Progress and Co-Founder B Lab Europe

Paul Adamson

Chair of Forum Europe and founder of E!Sharp

Susanne Stormer

Vice President, Global TBL Management at Novo Nordisk

Europe faces a number of challenges: growing inequality, persistent unemployment, and weakened social security nets, as well as looming impacts of climate change.

What is the role of the corporation in fostering inclusive prosperity?

11:25 - 11:45 / Presentation of Results

Presentation of the conclusions of the global roundtable series on corporate governance

Jeroen Veldman

Senior Research Fellow at Cass Business School

11:45 - 12:00 / Break

12:00 - 13:00 / Breakout Session C

Clarify Fiduciary Duties

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Joanna Sikora-Wittnebel

Company Law Unit, European Commission

George Dallas

Policy Director at International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)

Eric Holterhues

Head of SRI and Head of Arts and Culture at Triodos

Beate Sjåfjell

Professor at the Department of Private Law, University of Oslo

The European Commission and the OECD have recently begun to revisit the duties of institutional investors regarding environmental and social risks - including climate change.

How should the duties of institutional investors be modernised to meet the long-term needs of beneficiaries?

What obligations do company directors have to consider environmental and social matters?

What is the best method to ensure directors properly consider intangibles, sustainability and the long-term in discharging their duties?

12:00 - 13:00 / Breakout Session A

Revise Executive Pay

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Stefan Stern

Director of the High Pay Centre and visiting professor at Cass Business School

Michel Bande

Senior Executive Vice President Solvay

Hans Ulrich Beck

Global Director Research at Sustainalytics

Eszter Vitorino

Senior Manager Public Policy at GRI

Directors and senior executives face increasing pressure to disclose and reform executive compensation in line with investor and societal expectations.

What is best practice to connect pay with sound long-term business strategy?

Are stock options an effective method?

What options exist for fairer remuneration?

12:00 - 13:00 / Breakout Session B

Strengthen Board Role

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Riitta Mynttinen

Independent Director and Member of the Communication Committee of EcoDa

Peter Montagnon

Associate Director of the Institute of Business Ethics

Emma Ihre

Head of Sustainability at Mannheimer Swartling

Peter Tunjic

Founder of DLMA LABS

The board of directors plays a critical role in setting business strategy regarding innovation, risk appetite, and balancing interests of company’s key stakeholders.

How can the board find a right balance between its different functions? 

How can the board structure and training support sound business strategy? 

What is the board relationship with stakeholders?

13:00 - 14:15 / Networking lunch

13:15 - 13:40 / Lunch Break Session

Global Statement on Investor Obligations and Duties

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Will Martindale

Head of Policy at Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)

The UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) will update on the current status of the PRI, UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation’s Statement on Investor Obligations and Duties. The lack of regulatory clarity on the extent to which environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration is a requirement of investors’ obligations and duties has been an obstacle to responsible investors globally.

As part of the PRI’s ongoing work on fiduciary duty, the PRI, UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation have joined together to call on policy makers around the globe to provide clarity to investors. Their ambition is that the Statement will push the industry, globally, to see ESG not as optional, but a requirement.

For more details, see

13:40 - 14:00 / Lunch Break Session

Sustainable Capital Markets Union

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Sam Maule

Policy Advisor, Sustainable Finance, E3G

Environmental think-tank E3G will present the work they have been doing with a coalition of NGOs and investors on building a Sustainable Capital Markets Union. European capital markets can be harnessed to close the significant investment gaps in sustainable infrastructure, address pressing environmental and social issues like climate change and inequality and ensure Europe’s continued prosperity by giving investors the information they need to make informed decisions.

To do that, EU policy reforms are required. The European Commission recently announced it will establish an expert group on sustainable finance. The presentation will outline how the Commission can make best use of this group to deliver sustainable capital markets.

14:15 - 15:15 / Breakout Session E

Long-term and sustainable investment

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Andrew Johnston

Professor of Company Law and Corporate Governance, University of Sheffield

Per Lekvall

Member of the Swedish Corporate Governance Board and member of the Policy Committee of EcoDa

Raj Thamotheram

Chief Executive Officer, Preventable Surprises

Companies with a stable shareholding base tend to invest for the longer-term. The European Commission recognises the challenge of promoting long-term, sustainable investment and has recently consulted with stakeholders on further action.

What action can be taken in the next 5 years to incentivise longer-term shareholding

What can companies do to attract and keep committed investors and protect themselves against short-term, predatory shareholders?

How can the investment chain be governed so as to promote sustainability and long-termism in corporate decision-making?

14:15 - 15:15 / Breakout Session D

Improve corporate reporting

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Paul Dickinson

Chair, CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project)

Matthias Schmidt

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Region Lead: Germany

Jean-Guillaume Peladan

Head of Environmental Investments and Research at Sycomore Asset Management

Nicolas Bernier Abad

Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG FISMA)

The EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive is leading the global push to promote corporate sustainability transparency.

How can the Non-Financial Reporting Directive be effectively implemented?

What are next steps for integrating non-financial information into business strategy?

14:15 - 15:15 / Breakout Session F

Strengthen stakeholder voice

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Katrin Muff

Dean of Business School Lausanne

Mairead Keigher

Program Manager for Human Rights Reporting at Shift Project

Jan Cremers

University of Amsterdam

Paige Morrow

Head of Brussels operations at Frank Bold

How can the needs of workers, including employees, consumers,  communities, and the environment be integrated into corporate strategic decision-making?

Boards, executives, shareholders, employees: what is the best balance of powers to foster sustainability?

15:15 - 15:30 / Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30 / Plenary Session

Building an Innovative and Inclusive European Economy: The Role of Corporate Governance and Regulation

Věra Jourová

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

Herman Mulder

Institutional adviser, speaker, lecturer and author

Marcello Bianchi

Head of Capital markets and listed companies division EuropeanIssuers & Deputy Director General at Assonime

Steve Waygood

Chief Responsible Investment at Aviva Investors

16:35 - 17:35 / Plenary and closing remarks

Creating New Prosperity

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Katrin Muff

Dean of Business School Lausanne

Tineke Lambooy

Professor of Corporate Law at Nyenrode Business University

What are the next steps for driving towards sustainable business?


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