Transparent good governance

High standards of business ethics and governance have been fundamental to ArcelorMittal since the company was founded. We aim to treat our own people and our stakeholders with dignity and respect, and we want to listen thoughtfully, learn from our experience, and lead by example.

Why is this important to us?

Compliance with regulations is a core responsibility, but this alone is not enough. Organisations today must strive to create a positive culture in which everyone wants and knows how to do the right thing.

Our stakeholders’ expectations

Our stakeholders expect a strong independent Board of Directors to perform effective and independent oversight. The US and Europe, in particular, have significantly tightened the rules companies must abide by, and increased the civil and criminal penalties that can apply, especially in relation to corruption and anti-trust.

Compliance is becoming more demanding, and the voluntary codes driven by stakeholders or imposed by law are broadening the scope of what governance covers. For example, stakeholders, shareholders, the media and consumers all expect us to disclose how we implement human rights and environmental standards, and to measure and publish our social and environmental impact. This includes what taxes we pay and where.

The global accounting profession, along with investors and business leaders, are motivating companies to take these issues into account in their decision-making, and report publicly on their performance. Likewise employees expect their company to observe high standards, and the best talent increasingly look for employers whose values align with their own.

These issues also have a commercial dimension: the companies that buy our steel products have to be confident that their own business is not threatened by risks in our production processes or supply chain. In a digital age, reputations that have been built over decades can be damaged in minutes.

The commercial imperative

Any company with over 222,000 employees, operating in over 60 countries, with thousands of suppliers and customers, has to be especially careful to behave appropriately, respect local culture and apply consistently high standards of business practice, whatever the local regulatory environment. As stated by our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lakshmi Mittal, integrity and reputation are key assets that must be preserved at all times.

Good corporate governance brings with it significant benefits: a stronger standing with governments and regulators, enhanced investor and customer confidence, and reassurance for both our employees and our communities, which means a lower likelihood of business disruptions. The potential costs of poor governance, equally, are real and significant: from criminal charges and substantial financial penalties, to long-term reputational damage, and a fundamental undermining of our social licence to operate. And if we fail to manage our stakeholder relationships well, we risk campaigns against us, strikes, and even lawsuits and loss of business.

Our approach

Good governance is a guiding principle for us. It means ensuring that, as a company, we comply fully with the external regulations and reporting requirements that come with being a listed company, and commit to acting responsibly and with integrity, and that individual employees behave as good corporate citizens.

It is vital that we are clear about the standards of behaviour we expect from our directors, officers, and employees, and anyone who acts on our behalf, and that they understand the importance of acting with integrity. This is enshrined in our code of business conduct.

As part of our approach to risk management we take into account any uncertainties that can affect our business and our stakeholders, including those arising from not achieving our environmental, social and ethical objectives. The effectiveness of our response to those risks is monitored through audits conducted by our internal assurance team.

For information on our governance structure, our approach to remuneration and risk, and details of our Board Of Directors and our Group Management Board, please see our website, with further details in the Form 20-F that we file to the the US Securities and Exchange Commission.