A highlight of the numerous celebrations of the 2021 Climate Week / Earth Day around the world was the hosting of a “global summit” of leaders from 40 nations and sub-governments, the investment community, the corporate community, NGOs, and advocates, the E.U., multilateral organizations, indigenous communities, and others – hosted by the United States of America.
Yes, this is Climate Week, being observed just about everywhere on this precious Blue Orb floating in space. The varied observations are “surrounding” the now-50-plus-one years of celebrating Earth Day in midweek. (US Senator Gaylord Nelson of the State of Wisconsin back in April 1970 was the moving force behind the first Earth Day in the United States of America.)
Springtime comes to the USA with the pretty flowers in bloom, trees budding, the onset of warmer weather -- and asset owners and their managers participating willingly or reluctantly in the peak months of corporate proxy voting season. Typically, the corporate issuer develops the resolution(s) for voting by the shareholder base – for example, election of nominees for the board and approval of the outside auditing firm. And then… there are the resolutions prepared by the shareholders, usually not to executives liking.
Buzz… Buzzz… Buzzzzz! The current buzz among key stakeholders – investors, corporate boards & management, NGOs, government regulators, stock exchanges, ESG raters & rankers, ESG corporate disclosure standards and frameworks managers – is centered on “Quo Vadis”…where do we go from here!
At certain times, an unknown unknown may strike, rapidly triggering a serious crisis situation. Think of a tsunami or earthquake. Many other times the crisis situation occurs and there is a dozen, maybe dozens of precursor events or activities that over time if neglected set up the going over the cliff situation. The G&A Institute team collectively has helped to manage literally hundreds of critical events or crisis situations over the years for clients. We have seen many crisis situations over time -- but none with the scale of the dangers posed to humanity and planet by climate ch
Federal policymaking and regulation with respect to investor risk and opportunity is a complicated story played out over almost a century. The modern era of laws passed/rules adopted to implement got underway in earnest in 1933 and 1934 following the October 1929 “Black Tuesday” stock market crash and subsequent failure of Wall Street firms and banks. The Securities Act of 1933 and The Exchange Act of 1934 are the solid foundations of most of the investor protection laws and rules that have followed.
As he assumed the post of the highest elected public officer of the United States, President Joseph Biden characterized his [as the] “Climate Administration” and immediately (the fabled Day One actions) set out a very ambitious “climate crisis” policy agenda for action by the many arms of the Federal government agencies under his control. (Notably, all cabinet offices with their great reach.)
The public discourse about the current (and future) state of corporate sustainability / ESG disclosure and reporting continues to steadily expand, especially in Europe and North America, Asia, and other regions. What new or expanded accounting standards might be developed to create more harmony in corporate disclosures? To establish more comparability, standardization and credibility for public company reporting?
Corporate sustainability / ESG reporting -- What to disclose? How to frame the disclosures (context matters!)? What frameworks or standards to use? Questions, questions, and more questions for corporate managers to consider as ESG disclosures steadily expand.
There are now many more lively discussions going on about corporate ESG / sustainability et al public disclosures and structured reporting practices -- and the growing complexity of all this, resulting often in disclosure fatigue for practitioners!
About Sustainable / or ESG Investing: We have traveled a far distance over the past four decades, beginning with “ethical” and “faith-based” and the more frequent “socially responsible investing” (SRI), morphing over time into “sustainable & responsible investing” (still SRI for the traditionalist) and on to “ESG investing”. And now to… how about “investing”? That is, just plain investing, as our friend and colleague Erika Karp, CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group has been long saying.