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Embracing A Culture of Openness, Improvement and Self-awareness

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Tomorrow’s Company together with The Chairmen’s Forum has recently published its latest guide, ‘Tomorrow’s Corporate Governance – Improving Board Evaluation for Greater Board Effectiveness’.

Board evaluation is an integral part of corporate governance and helps boards operate more effectively.

The guide explores best practices and behaviours focused on improving board dynamics. A guiding set of principles has been developed to get the best value fro m the board evaluation process. This includes:

  • Defining board effectiveness and a shared view of the organisation’s purpose, value and mission to create a ‘board mandate’
  • Appointing an external evaluator who is independent, experienced and consistently high quality of external board evaluators.
  • Widening the sources of feedback to include non – board member executives, senior management and employees to give a more rounded view of the value of the board; harnessing the power of social media as a mechanism for getting feedback from customers and society at large.
  • Capturing both quantitative and qualitative data to inform internal and external evaluations.
  •  Disclosing the results to create an action plan based on the results of the evaluation and learning process.

Over 30 experienced chairmen and a similar number of company secretaries, investors, leading evaluators and other specialist discussants were consulted for this guide to highlight some of the widespread and recurrent themes and issues.

Quotes commenting on the guide:

John Barton, chairman of easyJet plc and Next plc , in a foreword to the guide writes:

“The board… is arguably the most important body in any company. How it exercises its duties and influences its business is probably the most important issue facing chairmen and directors today. To make sure it is effective a board must have some way of measuring and reviewing its performance with a clear path for updating and improving itself. This guide contains many useful tips on how to conduct and get value out of the evaluation process.”

Sacha Sadan, corporate governance director, Legal and General Investment Management, in his thought piece writes:

“As long – term investors we want to help companies be as good as they can be. An effective board is central to any successful company…. For us, board reviews are a key part of being a good owner or steward of the business.”

Richard Sermon, chief executive, The Chairmen’s Forum:

“This guide has been written primarily with chairmen in mind – it is for each board to determine how it undertakes ‘a formal and rigorous, evaluation of its own performance’ each year and the basis upon which it conducts ‘an externally facilitated review’ every three years. This is not an area for a ‘one size fits all’ approach and so you will find nothing which is prescriptive in these pages but rather insights, ideas and examples of ‘what good looks like’.”

Mark Goyder, founder and chief executive, Tomorrow’s Company: “The challenge of board evaluation lies in fulfil ling both the internal purpose – which requires the privacy of the confessional – as well as the external purpose, which requires a public  sharing of what has been learned and what may change. So far only a few have managed it. It is hoped that this guide will help more do so.”

Background:
Tomorrow’s Corporate Governance: Improving board evaluation to achieve greater board effectiveness is the fifth in a series of guides and tool- kits from the Tomorrow’s Good Governance Forum for use by chairmen, boards an d advisors, to help achieve practical change. This guide offers examples of good practice to help chairmen get the best value from the board evaluation process.

The origins of this guide lie in discussions held with Sir David Walker, John Barton, Geoffrey Howe, Richard Sermon and a number of leading chairs which identified that it would be helpful to capture some of the common issues and learning from the still evolving practice of board evaluation.

The report and information about the Inquiry are available at: http://tomorrowscompany.com/publication/improving-board-evaluation/

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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