Corporate governance refers to a system within and by which authority is exercised and controlled within corporations. It encompasses the mechanisms by which companies, and those in control, are held to account. Corporate governance influences how the objectives of the company are set and achieved, and how risk is monitored and assessed.
Corporate governance and business ethics are closely related. Corporate governance represents all decision-making systems having an influence on setting the objectives of a company and the means used to reach them.
Meanwhile, business ethics encompasses conduct codes and ethical charters enabling the actions of the company to go forward in an approved ethical framework.
Business ethics can’t be reached without some clearly established corporate governance. Thanks to this, a framework dedicated to economic development has been set up, and first and foremost, an ethical framework – which is a charter of good conduct – has been implemented
Some proposals have been suggested to improve corporate governance. Among them: diversifying the composition of Management boards, tracking and enforcing corporate governance codes that already exist at national level, the shareholders’ strong involvement, as well as the quality of the corporate governance declarations. Another objective would be to improve transparency within companies to enable and ensure shareholders get better information.
The Up Group has developed business ethics that embrace the values driving the Group. These values are commitment, innovation, solidarity, entrepreneurship, and fairness. The Up Group is the uncontested leader in terms of solidarity actions. Also, social and solidarity economy is at the heart of its action. The Up Group is indeed a cooperative. This atypical way of governance involves some democratic functioning as well as accession to responsibility and to economic initiative. It means that in a cooperative and participatory company, employees who are members of the cooperative are the only shareholders. As controlling shareholders, they own at least 51% of the share capital. Within the group, employees elect the Management board for 4 years. This method of governance yields long-term strategic insight to the Up Group. Thus, it combines effective corporate governance - since it serves the group and those composing it - to business ethics approved by all members, who promote respect of the cooperative values with their actions.