MONTREAL, Feb. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Board of Directors of CN is pleased to announce measures that will reinforce the Company’s status as a leader in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) among North American Class 1 railroads and across the transportation sector, including improvements to the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of the Board in line with emerging best practices. Our longer-term goal is to be at the leading edge of ESG best practices across North America and globally.
The new ESG measures include the creation of the CN Indigenous Advisory Council, an annual advisory vote on CN’s climate change action plan, and a commitment to a Board of Directors that has at least 50 percent of the independent directors come from diverse groups, including gender parity, in 2022. They also encompass a revamping of governance policies to reduce the age limit and tenure of Directors, to restrict further the number of other boards on which Directors can serve, and to reduce the size of the Board.
CN believes strongly that successful companies must engage in open and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders, including shareholders. We recognize that ESG responsibility is becoming a key priority for many of our investors, customers and employees as well as for the communities in which we operate. We are grateful for the input that has helped inform the ESG initiatives outlined today.
“Over the 25 years since privatization, the Company has strived to reflect best practices in board governance and recognizes that those practices have evolved in nature and expanded in scope to include much broader criteria. As we set the strategy and governance of CN for the next phase of our growth and stewardship, the Board is seized with the imperative of ensuring its governance practices reflect best-in-class ESG practices.” – Robert Pace, Chair of the Board of CN.
Indigenous Advisory Council
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the creation of the CN Indigenous Advisory Council (“IAC”), an independent body comprised of Indigenous peoples from across the country. The Council’s mandate is to provide advice to the Board and senior management on issues that either the Company or the IAC believe are relevant to CN. Among the goals of the IAC is to reinforce diversity and inclusion through policies and procedures that reflect these principles.
The co-chairs and full membership of the IAC will be announced before CN’s Annual General Meeting following consultation with representative Indigenous leaders and organizations.
“CN operates within or adjacent to nearly 200 different reserve lands of more than 110 First Nations and Metis territories in eight provinces. The Indigenous Advisory Council builds on the foundation of the CN Aboriginal vision. This initiative strengthens our relations with indigenous communities and formalizes them as part of our ESG commitments.” – Robert Pace, Chair of the Board of CN.
Advisory Vote on Climate Action Plan
Another key element of our renewed ESG commitments is an annual advisory vote on the Company’s climate action plan announced earlier this month. The first such non-binding vote will occur at CN’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) on April 27, 2021. It complements CN’s long-standing and robust climate change disclosures, public reporting of its greenhouse gas emissions, its strategy to reduce GHG emissions, as well as its year-over-year progress since 2009 in achieving emission reductions.
The Company will be part of the climate solution, and is committed to continuous improvement through actions, transparency and reporting. CN is one of only three Canadian companies listed on CDP’s* prestigious Climate A List.
Increasing the diversity of the Board of Directors and the senior management of the company to…