Striving for corporate excellence

Corporate governance framework

In its effort to act in the best interests of its shareholders by delivering sustainable shareholder value and to ensure compliance with the Corporate Governance Regulations issued by the Capital Market Authority (“CMA”) of Saudi Arabia, ACWA Power uses a Corporate Government Framework (the “Framework”) that models best practice as defined by the CMA and the Companies Law (the “Law”) of Saudi Arabia in addition to other applicable benchmark practices and standards. To this end we have four independent Board members and a total of 11 non-Board members on our committees.

The governance dynamics at ACWA Power

Internal Code
  • Code of conduct and business ethics
  • Employee compliance
  • Whistle-blowing committee
Oversight and Management
  • Interface with the group companies
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Internal audit & control
  • Continuous performance monitoring
Saudi Arabia’s Legal & Regulatory Framework
  • Constitutional documents – Articles, Bylaws
  • External audit
  • Annual Report
  • Sustainability Report
Robust corporate structure with dedicated committees

The Company aims to be a world class entity in its corporate governance affairs by continuing to model its framework in line with international best practice in terms of transparency, sufficient disclosure and fair administration. The IPO process in 2021 was helpful in both confirming the high standard that the Company has achieved ever since it adopted a code for corporate governance in 2009 while it was still a private company and allowing it to identify and capture opportunities to further reinforce and upgrade its governance standards.

The key sources for the application codes (“Codes”) under the Framework are the Corporate Governance Regulations and the Rules on the Offer of Securities and Continuing Obligations issued by the CMA in addition to corporate governance best practices.

The Company has adopted a Code of Corporate Governance (“Code of CG”), in line with applicable laws and regulations, which was approved by the Board of Directors of ACWA Power (the “Board”) on 7 April 2021 (corresponding with 25 Sha’aban 1442H) to support and adopt principles of good governance, including accountability, transparency, responsibility and fairness. Further, the Company, guided by its Board of Directors, continues to assess and examine its governance agility by comparing its systems with established international practices in order to further strengthen its internal reporting, disclosures and controls.

To ensure effective, consistent, and continuous application of the governance standards set by the Code of CG, the Company has implemented several policies and manuals, including but not limited to:

  • Code of Corporate Governance
  • Board and Board Committee’s Charters
  • Policies and Criteria for the Selection of Board Members, Committee Members and the Senior Executives consistent with capital market requirements and guidelines and shareholders rights;
  • Remuneration Policy;
  • Code of Business Conduct and Ethics Policy;
  • Compliance Management Framework;
  • Related Party Transaction and Conflict of Interest Policy regulating, amongst other things, conflict categories as it pertains to directors, senior executives and employees
  • Documentation and Retention Policy
  • Third Party Due Diligence and KYC Policy
  • Distribution of Dividends Policy
  • Whistle-blower Policy
  • Company Stakeholders Policy
  • Disclosure and Transparency Policy and Procedures

Our corporate governance approach

Our corporate governance approach guides our actions in our endeavour to uphold the highest professional and ethical business standards to build the environment of trust, transparency and accountability necessary for fostering long-term sustainable growth.

Supported by a robust framework designed to enhance accountability through the recognition and management of all risk areas, our comprehensive corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of roles and responsibilities among various stakeholders within the organisation, including our Board of Directors and its four functional board committees, our senior management and our employees.

Governance body

The Board of Directors of ACWA POWER Company (the “Company” or “ACWA Power”) (the “Board”) is the ultimate responsible body within the Company that is elected by the Ordinary General Assembly, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Without prejudice to the Capital Markets Law, Companies Law, applicable regulations, the Company’s Bylaws and the internal governance of the Company, the Board assumes the responsibility of providing direction, guidance and leadership on strategy, operations, and business expansion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and internationally, while assessing opportunities, challenges, risks and associated mitigative measures. Furthermore, the Board oversees the Company’s internal controls, compliance framework and risk register.

The Board is vested with full powers by the Shareholders to manage the business of the Company and supervise its affairs, as per the Company’s Articles of Association and Bylaws. To optimise the management of the Company and upon appointment on 5 January 2022, the Board restructured its committees into four functional Board Committees (the ”Board Committees”). Board Committees have been established to assist and provide insight and support to the Board in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities, namely the Board Audit Committee; the Nomination and Remuneration Committee; the Board Executive Committee; and the Risk Management Committee. All Board Committees have their respective charters that stipulate the respective Board Committees’ roles, responsibilities and delegated powers within the context of their specific expertise. The Board Committees deliberate and oversee various matters and provide quarterly updates and reporting to the Board for information, guidance and/or approvals, as applicable. In addition to committees mandated by regulations, the Board may at any time establish specialised committees, as may be needed, for effective governance, oversight, and operations of the Company.

The Board Term:

The Board term began on 5 January 2022 for a period of three years ending on 4 January 2025. Subsequently, the Board at its meeting held on 16 January 2022 resolved to appoint Mr Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan (Non-Executive Member) as Chairman of the Board; Mr Suntharesan Padmanathan (Executive Member) as Vice-Chairman of the Board; Mr Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan and Mr Suntharesan Padmanathan as the Company’s representatives in front of the Capital Market Authority and the Saudi Exchange; and Ms Hager Al Twegieri as Secretary of the Board. As per the Company’s Bylaws, the term of a director is for a period not to exceed three (3) years, subject to renewal or extension by the ordinary general assembly. Nevertheless, there is no limit on the number of terms that a non-executive/executive board member may serve on the Board.

On 29 November 2022, the Company published an announcement on the Saudi Exchange regarding the Board’s recommendation to increase Board seats from 11 to 12 upon the effectiveness of the Companies Law issued by Royal Decree No. (M/132) dated (1/12/1443H) and its implementing regulations and to start of the nomination period for the 12th Board seat to be elected during the next Extraordinary General AssemblyThe Company's Extraordinary General Assembly, held on 12 February 2023, elected Mr Raad Al-Saady as the twelfth member of the Board for the current Board term. Subsequently, the Board on 14 February 2023 resolved to appoint Mr Raad Al-Saady as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, considering Mr Paddy Padmanathan had voluntarily requested from the Board to be relieved of his role as Vice-Chairman while remaining as a Board member for the remainder of the current Board Term.

Areas of expertise


Global business development and operations

Finance, audit, accounting, internal controls

Risk management




Information technologies and digitalisation

Industry knowledge

The Board of Directors of ACWA Power assumes the responsibility of providing direction, guidance and leadership on strategy, operations, and business expansion, while assessing opportunities, challenges, risks and associated mitigative measures and ensures its implementation, including commitments in terms of environmental, social and governance responsibilities.

The Board of Directors encompasses a wide variety of ESG competencies.

Key expertise related to our ESG ambitions and strategy

Key environmental areas of expertise:

  • Energy transition
  • Environmental management
  • Waste management

Key social areas of expertise:

  • Local and regional knowledge and content
  • Health and safety
  • Human capital development key governance areas of expertise
  • Strategic partnership
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Regulatory environment
  • Strategic oversight, corporate strategy, governance and risk management
  • Digital transformation and innovation

Board Committees

Board Executive Committee

Pursuant to Article (28) of the Company’s Bylaws, the Company has established a Board Executive Committee which comprises five (5) board members appointed by the Board for a period not exceeding the term of the Board membership, exclusively consisting of members of the Board. The Chairman of the Board chairs the Board Executive Committee. The Board Executive Committee is responsible for, amongst other things, receiving and evaluating any proposals submitted to it from, and recommended for approval by, the Executive Management, regarding any project or investment/divestment opportunities and deciding on whether the Company will execute or participate in the proposed project of the proposed investment/divestment opportunity, in line with its approval authorities. In addition, the Board Executive Committee oversees the Company’s business and investment operations by analysing investment policies, strategies, transactions, opportunities and performance of the Company.

Board Audit Committee

Pursuant to Article 51 of the CGR, and in compliance with the CMA Corporate Governance Regulations, the Board Audit Committee was formed by a resolution of the General Assembly dated 5 January 2022. The Board Audit Committee consists of one (1) Independent Director, one (1) Non-Executive Director and three (3) non-Board members, one of whom is the Chairman of the committee. In line with the CMA Corporate Governance Regulations, none of the members of the Board Audit Committee is a member of the Executive Management.

Board Risk Management Committee

Pursuant to article (29) of the Company’s Bylaws, the Company has an established Risk Management Committee (RMC), which was formerly known as the Risk and Compliance Committee. The committee consists of five (5) members, serving for a period not exceeding the term of the Board membership. The Risk Management Committee advises the Board on the Company’s risk appetite, monitors the Company’s principal strategic, financial, operational, business, and reputational risks or exposures, advises and recommends actions to minimise such risks, and provide oversight and guidance as to the overall risk management functions within the Company. The Risk Management Committee executes its responsibilities in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements, and the Risk Management Committee Charter.

Nomination and Remuneration Committee

In compliance with the Corporate Governance Regulations and Article 30 of the Company’s Bylaws, the Company has established a Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC) on 5 January 2022. The committee consists of five (5) members, serving for a period not exceeding the term of the Board membership. In line with the CMA Corporate Governance Regulation, as of 31 December 2022, the NRC Chairman is an Independent Board member and there is no Board Executive members serving on the NRC.

The Nomination and Remuneration Committee is responsible, amongst other things, to assist and provide insight to the Board in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities by providing assurance that the leadership and human capital resources required for the Company to achieve its purpose and strategic objectives are met. The Nomination and Remuneration Committee executes its responsibilities in accordance with laws, regulations and the NRC Charter.

Our corporate behaviour

In addition to adhering to and promoting good corporate governance, ACWA Power supports exemplary corporate behaviour by adopting a stringent compliance approach to ensure that we adopt the highest standards of ethics, conduct business with reputable third parties and comply with international best practice.

Our compliance approach

One of the most important factors for the success of any organisation is its compliance with laws, rules and regulations. Compliance protects the Company’s reputation and credibility, serves shareholders’ interests, ensures customer satisfaction and reduces litigation. Compliance is a comprehensive and multi-aspect responsibility involving all parties in a company; it starts with the Board of Directors and senior management and ends with all employees and contractors, each according to the authority and responsibilities entrusted to them.

ACWA Power has accomplished high standards of ethics and integrity in all aspects of our business conduct. We are committed to complying with the applicable legislation and obligations in force in the countries where we operate. To facilitate this objective, the company has developed and implemented a Compliance Management Framework, which is intended to demonstrate the Company’s commitment, in the clearest possible terms, as follows:

  • Ensuring the highest standards of ethics and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and policies.
  • Detecting and swiftly correcting identified compliance gaps.
  • Eliminating misconduct and other wrongdoing.

The Compliance Management Framework lays down the policy guidelines and the detailed compliance practices to be implemented.

Our Code of Conduct

ACWA Power strives to offer a secure and positive work environment to encourage its employees to work to the very best of their abilities but, at the same time, expects employees to portray certain ethical and cultural values and to project an image of integrity and professionalism.

The Company has implemented a Code of Conduct and Ethics (the Code), which sets down key guidelines and compliance practices which all employees are expected to observe, wherever they are located or operate. The Code is a forward-looking document and outlines the ethical responsibilities that will grow our organisation, reputation and business.

It aims to provide guidance on general conduct in order to maintain harmonious working relations internally, with clients and other stakeholders, in line with the laws of the relevant jurisdiction and ACWA Power’s values, ethics and corporate policies.

To help foster awareness of the Code, we have developed two mandatory e-learning modules, Making Ethical Decisions and Code of Ethics Policy, which offer guidance in an interactive and engaging way to help employees gain a better understanding of the guidelines and practices set out in the Code and so adhere to the highest ethical standards.

The above training is ongoing and is mandatory for all employees to complete before the end of the first quarter of 2022.

Engaging with trusted partners

With business regulations worldwide becoming increasingly complex, it is essential for ACWA Power to entertain business exclusively with partners of good repute, to ensure that third-party risk can be mitigated.

In view of our global expansion, we have implemented a thorough Know Your Customer (KYC) process, so risk-based due diligence on third parties can be conducted before agreements are entered into. The process helps reduce potential risks such as fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering and similar malpractices.

Being a responsible global corporate citizen

ACWA Power is committed to conducting its business ethically and in compliance with all applicable domestic and foreign anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing, anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and regulations.

Our policies in this regard help to meet the following objectives:

  • Ensure that employees are aware of their obligations and the need to remain vigilant in the fight against bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Set out the scope, processes and controls required to mitigate any risk related to bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing within the Company.
  • Set out the responsibilities of ACWA Power, and those who work for the Company, in observing and upholding our position on bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Provide information and guidance on how to recognise and deal with bribery, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing related issues and assist stakeholders in reporting the same.

Our whistle-blowing programme

At ACWA Power, our commitment to integrity and transparency extends to implementing an efficient and confidential whistle-blowing programme, which enables any employee or third party to report concerns through dedicated channels.

A dedicated Compliance line provides a mechanism for the confidential and anonymous submission of concerns through an independent third party, Ethics Point, which is accessible at any time.

ACWA Power is committed to conducting its business with the highest standards of ethics and integrity by treating employees and partners with utmost respect and professionalism, fostering a culture of compliance and accountability for own actions, and promoting an environment where employees, third parties and stakeholders are encouraged to raise their concerns confidently regarding any unethical behaviour or any wrongdoing in the Company.

As part of that commitment, we have recently revised and rolled out the whistle-blower policy. Flowing from this policy, we are now rolling out the revised whistle-blower procedure, which, together with the whistle-blower policy, constitutes the whistle-blower programme at ACWA Power.

The purpose of the whistle-blower procedure is to define the processes and actions that must be followed to blow the whistle and report identified concerns through dedicated channels.

The main objectives of this procedure are to:

  • raise awareness on the whistle-blower programme in place at ACWA Power;
  • explain the importance of reporting serious concerns;
  • explain who is a whistle-blower and when to blow the whistle;
  • identify the types of concerns to be reported;
  • list the commitment expected from whistle-blowers;
  • identify channels available to report concerns;
  • provide an overview on the mechanism to investigate and remedy any wrongdoing;
  • set out the key performance indicators (KPI) of the whistle-blower programme.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with ACWA Power’s whistle-blower policy and code of conduct and ethics policy.

This whistle-blower procedure applies to all employees of ACWA Power, including business units and wholly owned subsidiaries.

Our commitment to human rights

ACWA Power places great emphasis on treating employees and individuals in the communities in which we operate and throughout our supply chain with dignity and respect. Where we don’t have managerial control, we expect and require compliance with this policy. We regularly review and update our policies and procedures proactively to identify, address and respond to unfavourable human rights issues with which we are possibly involved. We are dedicated to complying with the pertinent laws and implement controls wherever we operate. Where national law and international human rights standards differ, we adopt the higher standard.

Among the broader human rights issues identified, we consider the following as crucial and non-negotiable:

  • providing access to grievance mechanisms;
  • supporting access to water and sanitation;
  • preventing child labour, modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking;
  • ensuring a decent living wage and income;
  • ensuring safety and health;
  • empowering and supporting women.

Our disclosure and transparency approach

ACWA Power’s commitment to transparency is long-standing and weaved into our fabric. Since our listing on the Kingdom’s main stock exchange, Tadawul, in 2021, we must also comply with Capital Market Authority laws and regulations.

We have implemented a disclosure and transparency mechanism to identify, assess and, if needed, disclose to the public, any material development originating as part of our business that might affect the Company’s financial position, its ESG rating or evaluation. This is in compliance with the specific provisions set out in the Rules on the Offer of Securities and Continuing Obligation.

Risk management strategy and principles

Another of our core objectives is to optimise how we manage risk.

We are committed to increasing long-term shareholder value by fostering a culture that balances growth with effective, disciplined and proactive risk management.

Risk and opportunity management

ACWA Power operates in a fast-changing and highly competitive environment that can give rise to a host of risks across its value chain, which could have a materially adverse effect on its business, financial position, operations and reputation.

We recognise that the identification and management of these risks is central to achieving our strategic business and ESG objectives.

Risk and opportunity oversight

The Board Risk Management Committee (RMC) assists the Board in executing its fiduciary responsibility for overseeing and reviewing the identification and evaluation by management of the company’s principal strategic, financial, operational, business and compliance risks. These include the Company’s risk management framework and the policies, procedures and practices employed to manage risks.

This Committee supports the Board in monitoring our risk environment and provides direction for any activities that will mitigate any risk that could adversely affect the Company’s ability to achieve its goals.

Risk appetite

To ensure a confident response to risks, effective risk management should support informed decision-making in line with a set risk appetite, reflecting the type and amount of risk that the Company is willing to accept to achieve its business objectives. ACWA Power’s risk appetite is modelled on objectives, including ESG considerations, outlined in the Risk Appetite Statement, providing a framework which enables us to make informed management decisions. The Risk Appetite Statement considers and requires compliance with all Company-wide guidelines on strategic, financial and non-financial risk categories, approved by the Board.

Any non-compliance with these guidelines is considered a breach of the Risk Appetite level and needs Board approval.

Any deviation from the principles and limits defined in the Risk Appetite Statement will be reported to, and require the approval of, the Board.

Integration of climate risks in our risk approach

In addition to the environmental, operational and financial risks to our businesses, climate-related risks are increasingly set to become a core element of our risk management framework.

As global warming affects our environment – with changes in average air temperature, sea levels and rain patterns, and the frequency of extreme weather events – we are consciously factoring into our risk assessment the eventual physical threats associated with these environmental changes to our assets and our people in all the locations where we operate.

Since ESG strategy is integral to the Company’s overall strategy, we have elected to combine sustainability with risk and strategy in one single function, led by a senior C-level executive with a seat on the Management Committee. This should facilitate determining the right accountability for managing ESG strategy and executing, monitoring and reporting identified initiatives.

We believe in ensuring transparency around climate-related risks and opportunities and are working towards integrating the voluntary recommendations of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Physical climate risks

In 2022 we established bespoke methodology and approach to develop climate threats/opportunities matrix and identify climate change risk exposure. This entails structured conversations with key business teams across business units before climate risk reporting becomes an obligation, which is likely to come soon across several countries. When the company has a climate risk framework in place, we may start mapping it to any future requirements such as TCFD. This means the Company will be ready when these requirements become obligatory.

Our process

Step 1: Defining climate change elements across technology and their activities, in line with the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) workshop held in June 2022

Step 2: Integrating Step 1 into a risk management framework to capture all climate change risks as a catalogue/ risk diary, then reviewing every three or five years,

Step 3: Establishing governance for climate risks while assessing both threats and opportunities; determining how the company will identify, assesses and manages climate-related risks and agreeing review periods.