The Board of Directors of Chr. Hansen Holding A/S remains committed to following the Danish Recommendations on Corporate Governance as adopted on 1 June 2013 by Nasdaq Copenhagen in its Rules for Issuers of Shares - and complied with the recommendations in all respects in 2015/16.
Chr. Hansen is committed to being accountable to all relevant stakeholders. The Company has developed a set of policies and positions aligned with international conventions, treaties and standards. As part of this, Chr. Hansen continues to support the United Nations Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anticorruption.
Key developments in 2015/16
Chr. Hansen made progress toward diversity in management and key positions in 2015/16. The percentage of women in key positions increased from 18 to 22. The gender equality in management positions also improved and there are now 39% women in management positions, up from 36% in 2014/15. However, the percentage of diverse management teams decreased by 8 percentage points to 69%, following an organizational change.
Two out of seven members of Chr. Hansen’s Board of Directors are women, while four are non-locals, compared to a target of at least three women and one non-local member by the end of 2020.
Chr. Hansen is committed to conducting business with the highest level of integrity to ensure fair, safe and inclusive business practices. To ensure that all relevant employees are aware of, and comply with, business integrity standards, Chr. Hansen relaunched its anticorruption e-learning program in 2015/16.
Chr. Hansen encourages employees and external stakeholders, such as suppliers and customers, to raise concerns regarding business integrity. In 2015/16, two issues were raised directly with senior management and one was reported through the whistleblower hotline. All three incidents were investigated and appropriate action was taken where necessary. Chr. Hansen will continue communicating about the whistleblower system to ensure that all employees and relevant stakeholders are aware of and familiar with it.
Annual Board of Directors review
The Chairman of the Board of Directors is responsible for conducting an annual review of the Board’s performance, addressing the effectiveness of the Board, the processes supporting its work, individual members’ contributions and the Chairman’s performance.
In 2015/16, the evaluation was conducted by the individual directors and executives anonymously completing a comprehensive online questionnaire which was then summarized by an external consultant.
The results of the assessment process were presented to the Board of Directors in September 2016 by the external consultant. The report describes a number of areas in which the Board is both effective and very well-functioning and gives an overall impression of a high-performing board of directors. Almost all areas for improvement which were identified in last year’s assessment have been complied with. This year, too, the assessment identified some minor areas in which improvements will be considered.
The Chairman will hold individual meetings with the other directors to review their performance.
Similar evaluations of their effectiveness have been undertaken by the Audit Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Remuneration Committee and the Scientific Committee.
Corporate Governance StatementsTop
Statutory annual corporate governance statement, cf. Section 107b of the Danish Financial Statements Act