European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Democracy at work and company sustainability

Figure 4.8 Board-level representation and sustainable company policies


Democracy at work makes companies more sustainable

When workers are represented on a company’s board, their company is generally more sustainable vis-à-vis workers, the environment, and society as a whole (Vitols and Kluge 2011).  Companies with board-level employee representation (BLER) score better than companies without it across six different sustainability domains; these include not only human resources but also policies on the environment, human rights, responsible business behaviour, community involvement and corporate governance. This conclusion is based on an analysis of data gathered by the sustainability ratings firm Vigeo Eiris on 607 of the largest European companies forthe years 2017–2018. Based on information gathered from company reports, a detailed survey filled out by company managers, media reports, and alerts from stakeholders regarding company practices, Vigeo Eiris rates companies on a scale from 0 (worst score) to 100 (best score) on each of these six areas (Vigeo Eiris 2018). This number is based on the average score of different criteria within each of the six domains. The data is supplemented with data on BLER from the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership.

more information in  Benchmarking Working Europe 2019 - Chapter 4 Democracy at work

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Work organisation , Workers participation


Work organisation


Mehmet Koksal

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