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CN creates Indigenous Advisory Council, updates ESG policies


CN's board announced yesterday the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC), an independent body comprised of Indigenous peoples from across Canada.

The council's mandate is to advise the board and senior management on issues that either the company or the IAC believe are relevant to CN, company officials said in a press release.

Among the IAC's goals is to reinforce diversity and inclusion through policies and procedures that reflect these principles. The council's membership and co-chairs will be announced before CN's annual general meeting, which is slated for April 27.

CN operates within or adjacent to nearly 200 different reserve lands of more than 110 First Nations and Metis territories in eight provinces.

The IAC's formation is among new environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures announced by CN. Those other ESG measures include:
• an annual advisory vote on the company's climate action plan;
• increasing the diversity of the CN's board and senior management, including a target of at least 50% of the independent directors coming from a broader range of diverse groups, including gender parity, by 2022's end;
• updated board government policies, including reducing the board's size to 10 independent directors plus the chief executive officer; ensuring that all directors are subject to a 14-year tenure limit by removing the current grandfathering provision; lowering the retirement age for directors to 72 from 75; and changing the policy on over-boarding to permit directors to serve on a maximum of three public boards including CN.

The governance changes will take effect as of the April 27 meeting.