Financial Times – US Companies Add ESG Targets to Executive Bonuses

February 21, 2022

Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’s chief executive, earned a slice of his 2021 bonus by slashing plastic straws and methane emissions – an example of a trend by US companies to add environmental and social (ESG) targets to bonus packages.

Starbucks joined Apple and Disney in adding new and environmental and workplace targets in 2021 pay, according to an analysis by Sentieo, a data provider. Shareholders will get to vote on these ESG provisions in March when the companies hold annual meetings.

“Companies should move toward quantifiable ESG-pay metrics, such as the specifics Starbucks adopted, said Robin Ferracone, founder of Farient Advisors, a pay consultancy. “Companies should be ‘afraid of the blowback’ if they pay bonuses derived from imprecise ESG metrics.”

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About Robin Ferracone

Founder and CEO, Farient Advisors/GECN Group

New York: (646) 626-6931
Los Angeles: (626) 799-2700
robin.ferracone@farient.com

As the founder and CEO of Farient Advisors LLC, Robin has led the strategic development and expansion of the executive compensation, performance, and corporate governance advisory firm. Her client work focuses on providing high-impact decision-making support and organizational solutions based on insightful market insights.

With over 30 years of consulting experience, Robin advises clients in business and talent strategies, executive compensation, organization, value management, and performance measurement. She is the author of Fair Pay Fair Play: Aligning Executive Performance and Pay (John Wiley & Sons, 2010). In addition, Robin has authored numerous articles, is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and Directorship magazine, and is often quoted in national publications. She is a frequent presenter for prominent organizations such as the Council of Institutional Investors, Society for Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and The Conference Board.

Robin formerly served on the board of directors of Trupanion, Inc., where she chaired the compensation committee. In addition, Robin is a trustee emeritus of Duke University. She currently chairs the board of WildAid and is a member of 5050 Women on Boards, NACD, Women Corporate Directors, YPO Gold, and the Trusteeship. For 12 years, Robin has been named to the NACD Directorship 100, a list of the most influential people in corporate governance and the boardroom. In 2014, she was selected as one of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women, an annual competition recognizing female entrepreneurs. Robin is also a founding partner of the Global Governance and Executive Compensation (GECN) Group collectively serving clients in more than 35 countries across five continents.

Robin received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in management science and economics from Duke University.

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