The Clorox Company’s governance lead discusses engagement and ESG reporting

Dec 23, 2019
Highlights from the Corporate Governance Awards 2019

When Corporate Secretary caught up with Angela Hilt, vice president, corporate secretary and deputy general counsel at The Clorox Company, she discussed her role in the company’s shareholder engagement efforts, its ESG reporting and its diversity and inclusion measures in the boardroom.

Hilt, who was nominated for the governance professional of the year (large cap) award, has been influential in expanding the company’s shareholder efforts so that they include both board directors and senior management. The Clorox Company’s board has a year-round engagement strategy, with each quarter dedicated to a different engagement focus.

‘We’ve really sought to connect with our largest stockholders in order to have a two-way dialogue,’ Hilt said, speaking to Corporate Secretary on the red carpet at the Corporate Governance Awards. ‘Both to understand their priorities and what feedback they have for us, and also to share with them and help them get an understanding of corporate governance at Clorox – what our strengths are and what we’re focused on.’

Beyond shareholder engagement, The Clorox Company has been a leader and early-adopter of integrated reporting, having launched its first integrated report in 2011. Hilt was part of the team that worked on the original report – called Think outside the bottle – which combined financial, environmental, social and governance information in one report.

One of the concerns expressed about ESG reporting by many attendees at the recent Corporate Secretary Think Tank in New York is that companies are used to releasing audited financial information, and feel less certain about the auditing process of ESG data. Hilt explained that it’s an area that The Clorox Company is again taking the lead on.

‘We’re actually publishing our CSR metrics and having them audited by Ernst & Young – they do the assurance audit,’ she said. ‘The idea is that we’re trying to give our stockholders a holistic view of our company in our reporting.’

Hilt added that the company has historically used the Global Reporting Initiative framework, and this year it started producing Sustainability Accounting Standards Board aligned reporting.

Hilt has also been influential in championing diversity and inclusion, both at The Clorox Company and in the governance community as a whole. On a night where four of the five nominees for the governance professional of the year (large cap) award were female, Hilt said that she’s heartened by the progress that’s being made.

‘In the boardroom in particular, I would say that there’s a much richer dialogue now and an appreciation and understanding of the importance of diversity,’ Hilt said.

Click here to view the full video interview. 

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