The Nyrstar case shows us the importance of ESG and good corporate governance

The Enterprise Court of Antwerp, division Turnhout has ruled that the 2 billion euro lawsuit brought by a group of Nyrstar minority shareholders against Trafigura can proceed.

We will continue to strive for better protection for (minority) shareholders in Belgium and to uncover the truth in this case, so that the truth may prevail over the procedural objections that were raised.

The decision by the Commercial Court of Antwerp, division Turnhout, is an important step in that direction. The minority shareholders we represent are satisfied that the court has been able to acquaint itself with this extensive and complex case in a short amount of time, and that the court followed them in their main claim in this procedure.

Furthermore, it’s interesting to read that the court wishes to be fully informed about the facts of the case and is “interested in hearing the full story with a view to ascertaining the truth, which is essential in order to arrive at a correct and just judgment”.

Let’s ensure that environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance is not reduced to a buzzword or a mere administrative burden for companies, but will contribute effectively to better governance within our companies. An improve in ESG-performance will not be created by writing charters and spreading commercial statements, but will above all have to be carried and grow in the hearts, minds and actions of law-makers, companies, advisors and all parties involved.

Only by fully following through on our ESG-commitments will we be able to bring about true change, and will we be able to avoid cases like the one at hand. By initiating and persisting with this exceptional case, the minority shareholders have in either case illustrated and reinforced the importance of ESG-compliance.

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