The ESG movement is indicative of a fundamental shift in the global economy. Companies that develop a thoughtful approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance to help manage risks and build resilience have an opportunity for competitive advantage and improved long-term performance, benefiting their business but also the region(s) in which they operate. ESG reporting and disclosure is a quickly evolving space and will have implications for public and private companies operating in the Great Lakes region.
Public companies will be increasingly exposed to new reporting standards and mandatory disclosure regulations focused on consistent and comparable disclosure for investors. This will eventually include Scope 3 GHG emissions, which extends into the supply chains of organizations. Private companies with large publicly traded customers will face growing pressure to report their GHG emissions to customers so they can fulfil these disclosure obligations.
These efforts do not happen overnight, and a significant amount of change management is required to effectively navigate this new territory.
The webinar, sponsored by the Council of Great Lakes States, will feature Sarah Keyes, CEO of ESG Global Advisors, who will address the important topic of ESG in business and contextualize it for the Great Lakes region. She’ll answer questions such as:
What is ESG and how does it differ from CSR?
Why is ESG important for the Great Lakes region? what do businesses need to know?
How do businesses get started with integrating ESG into their management?
During the webinar, Sarah will also take questions from the audience and share examples of good practice.
Miller Lite is pledging to turn past sexist beer ads into fertilizer as part of a campaign running around Women’s History Month, according to a press release.
The Molson Coors brand has been busy buying up old marketing materials off the internet with the aim of converting them into compost that can be used to make fertilizer. The end product will be donated to women hops farmers, while the hops grown from the recycled materials will be sent to women brewers.
To spread word of the “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” initiative, Miller Lite partnered with comedian Ilana Glazer, who explains the concept behind the campaign in a new video. Miller Lite joins other beer marketers in reckoning with prior marketing strategies that have largely ignored or objectified women.
A Republican bill to prevent pension fund managers from basing investment decisions on factors like climate change cleared Congress on Wednesday, setting up a confrontation with President Joe Biden, who is expected to veto the measure.
The U.S. Senate voted 50-46 to adopt a resolution to overturn a Labor Department rule making it easier for fund managers to consider environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, issues for investments and shareholder rights decisions, such as through proxy voting.
ESG and climate reporting is a must-do for any business. Yet we’re currently experiencing a surge of new frameworks and policies – as a business, it can be challenging to keep track of these changes. Which apply to you? What does it mean for your company? Join leaders from Point B, Radisson Hotel Group, and Duke Energy as they discuss how businesses around the world should respond to this new wave of ESG frameworks and regulations, both stateside and in the EU. You’ll get the answers you need on topics like:
How frameworks and rulings like the SEC, ISSB, CSRD, and Federal Supplier Disclosure Rule are converging
Which frameworks and regulations to pay attention to
What actions your business should take to prepare
How to create a “no regrets” approach to the SEC’s Climate Disclosure Ruling
Where the ESG and climate disclosure landscape is headed
Joel Makower, Co-Founder & Chairman, GreenBiz Group
Kevin Wilhelm, Senior Principal, Point B
Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior VP of Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications, Radisson Hotel Group
Katherine Neebe, Vice President, National Engagement and Strategy & Chief Sustainability and Philanthropy Officer, Duke Energy
If you can’t tune in live, please register and GreenBiz will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.
Only around half of procurement professionals and decision makers believe that their companies’ supply chain sustainability targets and strategies are aligned with their broader corporate sustainability ambitions, according to a new report released by Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) procurement and supply chain-focused subsidiary INVERTO.
For the report, Sustainable Procurement Study 2022, INVERTO surveyed 90 professionals in procurement, executive management and management board roles across Europe and the U.S. 39% of respondents were employed at companies with revenues greater than €2 billion.
It’s shorthand for the way that many corporations operate in accordance with the belief that their long-term survival and their ability to generate profits require accounting for the impact their decisions and actions have on the environment, society as a whole and their own workforce.
ESG priorities vary widely, but there are some common themes.
These priorities usually emphasize environmental sustainability – the E in ESG – with a focus on contributing to efforts to slow the pace of climate change.
There’s also an effort to uphold high ethical standards through corporate operations. These social concerns – the S – can include, for example, ensuring that a company doesn’t buy goods and services from exploitative suppliers, or treats its employees well. Or it might entail taking care to hire and retain a diverse workforce and taking steps to reduce social injustices in the communities where a corporation operates.
Companies embracing ESG principles should also have high-quality governance – the G. Governance includes oversight, handled by a competent and qualified board of directors, regarding the hiring and firing of top corporate leaders, executive compensation and any dividends paid to shareholders.
Governance also pertains to whether a company’s leadership operates fairly and responsibly, with transparency and accountability.
Why ESG matters
By 2026, the total amount invested globally according to these principles will nearly double to US$34 trillion from $18.4 trillion in 2021, the accounting firm PwC estimates. However, increasing scrutiny of which investments really qualify as ESG could mean it takes longer to reach that volume.
This corporate concept is becoming a political touchstone in the U.S. because some states, like Florida and Kentucky, arguing that these practices divert from the focus on maximizing profits and can be detrimental to investors by making other considerations a priority, have barred their pension funds from using ESG principles as part of their investment considerations. Some very large asset managers, including BlackRock, aren’t allowed to work with those pension funds anymore.
A team of New York University scholars looked at the results of 1,000 different studies that had sought to answer this question. It found mixed results: Some of the studies found that ESG principles increased returns, others found that they weakened performance, and a third group determined that these principles made no difference at all.
It’s possible that the disparities among results could be due largely to the lack of clarity regarding what counts and does not count as ESG, which has been a long-standing discussion and makes it hard to assess how ESG investments perform.
The NYU scholars also found two consistent results regarding ESG strategies. First, they help protect investors against risks such as losses resulting from the failure of a supply chain due to environmental or geopolitical issues, and they can protect companies from volatility during periods of economic instability and downturns. Second, investors and companies benefit more from ESG strategies in the long term than in the short term.
In more than a dozen states across the country, state legislatures have either passed or have pending bills based on a piece of model legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council known as the “Energy Discrimination Elimination Act.” These bills would essentially pull state funds from investment managers if they are deemed by government officials to be adverse to the oil and gas and coal industries in their investment strategies. Some of the same states – in addition to many others – are considering bills that would similarly punish or blacklist financial firms for including having strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards in their investment strategies.
The legislation has been accompanied by actions at other levels of government, including state executive actions by treasurers and governors, legal action by state attorneys general, and even the threat of federal action in the next Congress. At the tip of the spear of the state efforts to pressure financial institutions away from assessing and acting upon the financial risks of such issues as climate change, gun violence, and workers’ rights is the threat of pulling state funds from their asset managers.
Among many key unknowns associated with these legislative and executive actions are impacts to the residents and taxpayers of the states where they become law. Setting aside the implications of politics interfering in financial decisions, there is the question of how removing major, proven financial companies from the marketplace will affect competition. Restrictions on financial market participants, (and in this analysis we look at large investment banks), alter the outcomes of municipal bond market transactions and modify contractual engagements with state governments. It is therefore of tremendous importance that policymakers, business leaders, and the public have the tools to estimate and anticipate these impacts.
We study how regulation limiting ESG policies distorts financial market outcomes. In 2021 Texas enacted laws that prohibit municipalities from contracting with banks with certain ESG policies, leading to the exit of five of the largest municipal bond underwriters from the state. Issuers previously reliant on these underwriters face higher uncertainty and borrowing costs since the enactment of the laws. These effects are consistent with deterioration in underwriter competition as issuers face fewer potential underwriters. Texas issuers will incur $300-$500 million in additional interest on the $31.8 billion borrowed during the first eight months following enactment.
Multinational food manufacturing giant the Kellogg Company (Kellogg’s) is among those companies that consistently link their global purpose platform to their sustainability agenda and ensures their purpose is centered on the well-being of their employees and other stakeholders. More specifically, the company, through its Kellogg’s™Better Days Promise, aims to advance sustainable and equitable access to food by addressing the intersection of well-being, hunger, sustainability, and equity, diversity & inclusion to create better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030.
This list may be force us to eat crow (or a plant-based alternative) at the end of the year, but based on what we saw in 2022, and some of the chatter going on in the present —not to mention the macroeconomic trends that will surely affect the world of ESG — we’ve got a list of six trends that will likely define ESG during the coming year.
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