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To enable peer-comparisons and benchmarking, The Conference Board ESG Center offers a portfolio of data and analyses on corporate governance, proxy voting, sustainability, citizenship and philanthropy, and communications and public relations.

Board Practices

An analysis of corporate board practices at Russell 3000 companies, based on 2018 SEC filings and organizational documents (charters, bylaws, board committee charters, and corporate governance principles). For comparative purposes, data are compared with the S&P 500 index and segmented by 11 business sectors under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), five annual revenue groups, and three asset value groups. Covered practices include board composition and leadership, the profile of the corporate director (including age, gender, tenure, qualifications and skills), the process for directors’ nomination, election and removal, and other policies applicable to board members such as mandatory retirement, resignation, overboarding, and indemnification. The project is a partnership between The Conference Board and ESG data-mining firm ESGAUGE, and it was developed with the support of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance (successor of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi)), Debevoise & Plimpton and Russell Reynolds Associates.

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Director Compensation

Benchmarks on director compensation elements, including cash retainer, meeting fees, full value shares, stock options, retainer for chairmanship and committee membership, and perquisites. A collaboration with NASDAQ OMX and NYSE Euronext.

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CEO and Executive Compensation Practices

The review of total compensation, base salaries, equity-based incentives, and the mix of compensation elements for the CEO and other named executives of U.S. companies in the Russell 3000 and S&P 500. A collaboration with Gallagher, MylogIQ, and ESG analytics firm ESGAUGE.

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Shareholder Activism and Proxy Voting

Proxy Voting Analytics is The Conference Board’s post-season shareholder voting report and reviews, across several years, the outcome of annual general meetings (AGMs) held at Russell 3000 corporations. The study details aggregate data on shareholder proposals, management proposals, proxy contests, and other shareholder activism campaigns, segmenting such data for 11 business sectors in accordance with GICS, the Global Industry Classification Standard. To highlight differences between small and larger companies, findings in the Russell 3000 sample are also compared with those for companies that, at the time of their AGM, were in the S&P 500 index. The study is developed in partnership with Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and in collaboration with FactSet and ESG data mining firm ESGAUGE.

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CEO Succession

Statistics on succession events regarding chief executive officers (CEOs) of S&P 500 companies. In addition to updates on historical trends, this report features a series of notable case studies and a detailed review of shareholder activism requesting more rigorous succession planning and disclosure practices.

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Corporate Sustainability

An analysis of trends in corporate sustainability reporting drawn from data on sustainability disclosure and performance of companies in 26 countries, spanning Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. In all, data on 90+ environmental and social practices for close to 6,000 companies are analyzed to reveal how companies are responding to the increased pressure to disclose their nonfinancial impacts. The report is complemented by a comprehensive database and online benchmarking tool, the Sustainability Practices Dashboard. The Dashboard allows users to generate customized charts by segmenting data by sector, revenue group, region, and country.

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Corporate Citizenship, Philanthropy, and Social Impact

Published by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, the annual Business Contributions to the Arts report analyzes trends in how companies of all sizes contribute to the arts. Although generally delivered through philanthropic budgets, arts support also comes from marketing and sponsorship budgets, as well as specific budgets, such as a CEO/Chairman/President budget. The data is used by both companies to strategize and by arts nonprofits to help understand corporate funding patterns.

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In the wake of the devastating hurricane season in the fall of 2017, The Conference Board began to look at how corporate members strategize and execute disaster philanthropy programs. The research has become particularly relevant as climate change threatens to increase the number and intensity of future disasters. Data includes information on corproate decision-making practices, funding sources, contribution types, and priorities along the disaster philanthropy spectrum.


In collaboration with Mission Measurement and with a sponsorship from Moody's, The Conference Board publishes an annual study that analyzes social outcomes across a range of social issues. The project draws on the comprehensive outcomes data collected by Mission Measurement through its Impact Genome Project® and The Conference Board’s expert analysis to deliver insights including: the outcomes that are most commonly funded by companies; the efficacy rates and costs per outcome of social outcomes; and the importance of a data-driven approach to social impact measurement.

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Corporate Communications and Public Relations

The Conference Board reviews organizational and leadership practices on public relations and employee communications. Comparative data include CCOs’ professional background, reporting relationships, functions and responsibilities, budgetary resources, performance measurement standards, outsourcing policies, and the use of social media.

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Subscribe to Director Notes

Stay on top of current issues and best practices in corporate governance, risk oversight, and sustainability.


Subscribe to Giving Thoughts

Read what philanthropy experts have to say about the most pressing issues affecting corporate giving and social impact.


CEO Succession Practices: 2019 Edition

CEO Succession Practices: 2019 Edition analyzes all CEO succession events at S&P 500 companies in 2018 and the previous 17 years, with additional analysis based on our 2019 survey. 

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CEO and Executive Compensation Practices: 2019 Edition

This report benchmarks individual elements of compensation packages and the evolving features of short- and long-term incentive plans, details shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation (say on pay), and outlines the major practices on board oversight of compensation design.

Download CEO and Executive Compensation Practices: 2019 Edition

Sustainability Practices: 2019 Edition

Sustainability Practices analyzes the most recent disclosure of environmental and social practices by public companies around the world.

Download Sustainability Practices: 2019 Edition

Activist Surveillance

In an exclusive offer to its members, The Conference Board, in collaboration with FactSet, provides a tool for public companies to stay abreast of shareholder activism, track AGM votes, and compare takeover defenses against peer groups.

Activist Surveillance

Corporate Communications Practices: 2018 Edition

Corporate Communications Practices analyzes findings from a survey of over 100 business corporations.

Download Corporate Communications Practices: 2018 Edition