Should you create a standalone E&S board committee?

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Here’s an excerpt of a blog that I wrote for Perkins Coie’s yesterday:

Given the heightened interest in sustainability, in social issues, in workforce issues, some companies have moved oversight of their company’s activities in these areas to a standalone board committee. Is that necessary? Is that overkill?

It depends.

For many companies, I think they’ll find that issues tied to E&S are touching the lives of each of their existing board committees in one way or another. Audit committees will have to deal with internal and disclosure control issues for the ESG reporting that the company does. The compensation committee may be tying executive pay – maybe even board pay – to ESG-related metrics.

The governance committee is likely focused on recruiting board candidates that bring greater diversity or environmental or social expertise to the board. And oversight of risk management – for whatever board committee handles that important task – relates to ESG issues for the company.

So having a standalone board committee might not make sense.