Norwegian code of practice for corporate governance

We follow the Norwegian Code of Practice on Corporate Governance of October 2014.

This chapter provides a detailed overview of how Hydro follows the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance. Information that Hydro must provide in accordance with the Norwegian Accounting Act, section 3.3b, is also included. This overview should be seen in context with the general corporate governance report provided in Hydro's annual report for 2017.

Deviations from the Norwegian code of practice for corporate governance

In the board of directors' assessment, we have deviations from three sections in the code of practice:

Section 6, General meeting of shareholders:

Hydro has three deviations from this section: 

1) "Ensure that the members of the board of directors ... are present at the general meeting": The entire board of directors has generally not participated in the general meeting. Matters under consideration at the general meeting of shareholders have not yet required this. The chairperson of the board of directors is always on hand to present the report and answer any questions. Other board members participate as needed. The board of directors considers this to be adequate.

2) "Ensure that the members of ... the nomination committee ... are present at the general meeting": The entire nomination committee has generally not participated in the general meeting. Matters under consideration at the general meeting of shareholders have not yet required this. The chairperson of the nomination committee is always on hand to present the nominations and answer any questions. Other committee members participate as needed. The nomination committee considers this to be adequate. 

3) "Making arrangements to ensure an independent chairman for the general meeting": Section 9 in Hydro's articles of association states that the general meeting is chaired by the chairperson of the corporate assembly, or, in his or her absence, by the deputy chair. This arrangement has been approved by the company's general meeting.

Section 7, Nomination committee:

Hydro has one deviation from this section:

"The company's guidelines for the nomination committee should establish rules for rotation of the members of the nomination committee": The nomination committee has no formal rules on rotation of its members. The nomination committee's mandate expresses, however, the intention to "over the course of time balance the need for continuity against the need for renewal in respect of each governing organ." The chairperson of the committee, who is also the chairperson of the corporate assembly, has been a member of the committee since 2012, became acting chairperson in 2014 and was elected chairperson in 2015. The other members were elected to the nomination committee in 2008, 2014 and 2015.

Section 14, Takeovers:

Hydro has one deviation from this section:

"The board of directors should establish guiding principles for how it will act in the event of a take-over bid": The board of directors has chosen not to prepare explicitly formulated general principles for handling takeover bids. The reason for this is that the Norwegian state, represented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, owns 34.3 percent of the Hydro shares (as of 31.12.2017) and has by virtue of the Active Ownership Report (Report to the Storting no. 27 (2013-2014)) expressed a long-term ownership perspective in the company for the purpose of retaining its head office and research activities in Norway.

1. Statement of corporate governance

Hydro follows the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance of 2014. The Hydro Way represents our framework for leadership, organization and culture and is the foundation for our governance system, including our code of conduct. Hydro's Code of Conduct has been approved by the board of directors, which also oversees that Hydro has appropriate corporate directives for, among other things, risk management, HSE and corporate responsibility.


Updated: October 11, 2016