Submitted by CECP
Earlier this month, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose convened 17 CEOs and key legal leaders to discuss newly proposed environmental and social governance disclosure requirements from the SEC. Here are four key takeaways from the conversation.
On March 8, 2022, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) convened 17 CEOs and key legal leaders to discuss newly proposed environmental and social governance (ESG) disclosure requirements from the SEC.
If adopted, the mandated disclosures would require publicly traded companies to release information to investors about their emissions and how they are managing risks related to climate change and future climate regulations.
Kelly Grier, US Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner at EY, led the discussion, saying: “Companies have stood up to talk about their ESG commitments without any mandate, as they realize that ESG is a means by which you realize your strategic imperatives. CEOs are the leaders on this and will be held to account for those disclosures and the progress against them.”
“If the business community steps up in a constructive way to be supportive but to suggest constructive improvement, it could be so helpful,” said Leo Strine of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and offered examples of how the SEC could best approach the new rules. “If the SEC targeted 35 percent of the right industries, they could get 80 percent of the impact they’re trying to achieve. For a lot of other companies, their contribution to climate change is just the multiplication factor of having their employees at work. Before getting to scope 3, maybe do scope 1 and 2 well in the key industries. And focus on education in the initial years, leaving enforcement of the new rules solely to the SEC — not making it open season for plaintiffs’ lawyers.”
Here are four key takeaways from the conversation:
Check out this YouTube video to hear more from Kelly Grier from this important conversation; and read this SEC fact sheet with more information. The regulations are open for public comment for 60 days before the SEC can finalize and enforce them — which can take some time.
The increasing interest on mandating ESG is one of the reasons why CECP is working to empower each CEO on their journey to refocus investor expectations towards the long-term, including ESG strategy and disclosures.
Forward-looking companies will innovate, build awareness, and foster understanding about how ESG is being integrated and measured throughout their organizations.
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) is the only international forum of business leaders focused on increasing the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Membership includes more than 180 global CEOs and chairpersons of companies that collectively account for more than 40% of reported corporate giving in the United States. Membership is by invitation and is renewed annually.
CECP provides member companies with peer-to-peer executive convenings, premier networking events for corporate giving industry professionals, cutting-edge research publications, a proprietary, on-demand benchmarking system of corporate philanthropy data, and exclusive media opportunities.
Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, together with John Whitehead, Peter Malkin, and other business leaders, CECP continues to inspire and challenge leaders in the private sector to find innovative ways to fulfill unmet social needs and to lead the way towards better alignment of business and social strategies.
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