Minister Sirpa Paatero says that the responsibility of steering ESG issues in state owned companies are in the board level. She made her comments in the EarthRate ESG conference in Helsinki on Thursday 22nd January.
– As an owner, the state follows the Finnish corporate legislation and obey to rules of good corporate governance -code. This means that the ownership and management is strictly separated in companies and responsibilities of companies organs are clearly defined. The state will not interfere with the single resultions of companies management, even when they are seen as politically unpleasent. This means, that the primary responsibility concerning the ESG issues in the companies lies on the management of the companies, especially the boards, Minister Paatero said.
– As an shareholder, the state of course monitors the operation of companies and engage in active dialoge with the management about ESG-issues. But it is also expected, that the management of a state owned company also proactively monitors and directs the ESG-issues in their company. Also without the involvement of the owner.
– The state also uses it’s power as a shareholder, when it participates to nomination of the company boards. State monitors that every board of a state owned company holds sufficient competens in ESG-issues of the companies branch. ESG-issues are also considered in the principles of remuneration of management, she said.