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NFP Compensation Insights | September 2023


ESG and Executive Pay

Linking ESG to executive compensation continues to be an upward trend, however there is still much controversy and complexity for corporations as they determine if including ESG metrics in incentive plans makes sense for them.

In this month’s featured article, we provide a backdrop on how ESG concerns have evolved, where we are today with these initiatives, and feasible predictions of tying environmental, social and governance issues to executive compensation. We hope you find this month’s articles helpful if you are considering ESG metrics in your compensation plans. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to NFPCC for expert assistance in determining whether this makes sense for your company and if so, how to effectively structure your programs.

By Kyle Lamport

Sustainability goals are now widely considered on par with more traditional KPIs and are slowly becoming standardized as external pressures continue to push corporations to tie non-financial measures to executive pay; however, this hasn’t always been the case, clearly. So how did we get here, how are these initiatives performing today, and what are some reasonable future expectations of tying ESG to executive compensation over the long-term?

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Linking Executive Compensation to ESG Performance

As companies address two fundamental and related shifts—the intensified focus on environmental, social & governance (ESG) issues driven by investors, employees, consumers, business partners, ESG rating agencies, and regulators, [1] and the shift to a multistakeholder form of capitalism [2] —corporate boards are not only incorporating nonfinancial matters into discussions of company strategy and business plans, but also increasingly considering ESG performance measures in incentive plans.

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Does It Pay to Link Executive Compensation to ESG Goals?

As ESG investing has boomed, so has a movement to tie executive compensation to environmental, social, and governance goals such as reducing carbon emissions, diversifying the workplace, and improving corporate culture. Like all things ESG-related, this has sparked skepticism and controversy. Are these incentives and bonuses driving CEOs to meet ambitious goals or are they just another way to pad compensation packages?

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NFP’s Executive Compensation and Benefits Trends Study Results

At NFP, we understand that attracting and retaining top executive talent is crucial for your organization’s success. To help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of executive benefits, we have conducted an in-depth survey to identify the latest trends and insights shaping the industry.

Our survey brings you valuable data and analysis from a diverse group of organizations representing tenured C-suite decision-makers of executive compensation strategies from industries that include financial services, manufacturing and real estate.

Key Highlights of the Executive Benefits Trends Survey:

  • Retention and Recruiting
  • Executive Benefit Landscape and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Usage
  • Strategic Initiatives and Mindsets
  • Economic Outlook
  • A Best-in-Class Approach to Redefining Executive Benefits

Download the 2023 Executive Compensation and Benefits Trends Study »

View the emailed version of this Compensation Insights »

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