Data is needed to set targets
Occupational safety and employee satisfaction are still the most common indicators of sustainability in executive compensation. However, the use of environmental sustainability indicators in executive compensation is growing rapidly.
In order to assess how management has succeeded in achieving environmental sustainability targets, comparable data is needed.
"It's difficult to get reliable data about, for example, what a company's global carbon footprint is. Until reliable data on the carbon footprint is available, you cannot set targets and reward their achievement. This is one of the main reasons why, although there has long been talk of tying executive compensation to sustainability, it is only recently that environmental sustainability indicators have started to appear in compensation schemes. It takes time to implement the processes that produce reliable data," Tyyskä noted.
A benchmark is needed to assess performance. Otherwise, progress cannot be measured and a reward is not meaningful. Tyyskä observed that in some companies, tying environmental sustainability to compensation schemes starts with three years of groundwork. The first target is to reduce the carbon footprint and the first year devoted to ensure that the necessary data is available. The following year aims to determine the company's carbon footprint. And the reduction of the carbon footprint is calculated in the third year.
"This way, the carbon footprint can be included in the compensation indicators, and its introduction can be accelerated."