Business Conduct

    The Business Conduct thematic area examines companies’ application of responsible business practices and sound systems of corporate governance and transparency in their operations. Business Conduct indicators assess the extent to which companies have put in place commitments and systems to prevent unethical conduct, track, disclose and address any ethics-related issues that arise, and disclose key corporate finance and governance matters.

    Average of the best scores achieved collectively by all companies for each one of the indicators under the thematic area

    Average of the scores achieved by each one of the companies under this thematic area

    Commitment (1 indicator)
    Action (7 indicators)
    Effectiveness (3 indicators)

    The 0.00-6.00 scale is the scoring scale used in the assessment.

    Summary of results

    Company results in Business Conduct are on average higher than for any other thematic area, due to the fact that many companies have made formal commitments to prevent bribery and corruption, and a significant proportion of companies disclose public-interest information concerning the taxes and other payments they make to governments. The generally stronger results also reflect the growing requirements set by home country and producing country governments, particularly regarding disclosures on payments to governments, lobbying practices and taxes.

    The results reveal relatively widespread adoption of measures for holding board directors and senior managers accountable for responsible business conduct. However, on other issues such as the public disclosure of contracts or of beneficial owners, the vast majority of companies show no evidence of action, despite growing international expectations.

    Anglo American achieves the best overall results in Business Conduct, followed by Rio Tinto and BHP, which show the strongest results on the issue of tax transparency.

    Leading practices in Business Conduct include, for example, measures to link senior management remuneration to corporate performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and strong disclosure of company presence in low-tax jurisdictions, as a result of UK legislation on tax transparency.