We’ve got the chance to win consumers over on ESG — but we’re not communicating it right

Read the full story from Triple Pundit.

But ESG isn’t doomed. If anything, companies have the opportunity to win over consumers, i.e., hearts and minds, with their ESG strategies. Why? Well, to start, a recent Fordham University survey found that about two-thirds of all consumers are still by and large unfamiliar with ESG. But despite that unfamiliarity, they are willing to hear more anecdotal stories about their companies’ ESG efforts and could reward them with more purchases and increased loyalty.

The problem, however, is that many companies are getting the communications part of this all wrong — and they will want to rethink how they talk with key stakeholder groups, starting with consumers.

CNBC survey shows CFOs not completely onboard with ESG initiatives

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Focusing on and publicizing ESG goals and investments are currently widespread corporate initiatives, but according to a CNBC survey, financial executives aren’t as supportive of those plans.

The survey shows chief financial officers, nearly half from Fortune 500 companies, are especially against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed emissions and climate disclosures. A quarter of the respondents are for the SEC’s measures, but 35% say they strongly oppose it.

For Shein and other fast fashion offenders, ESG-washing is not the answer

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

If reports are to be believed, Chinese fast-fashion behemoth Shein is trying to make amends, shifting its image to justify a steadily dropping $100 billion valuation ahead of an ambitious IPO in 2024. It’s got a lot of work to do. While the company controls most of the category at 28 percent, racking in $15.7 billion in sales 2021, it’s also among the worst in environmental sustainability, social justice and corporate governance (ESG). To keep prices low, and to stay relatively free of regulation, it relies on suppliers in China, where the Uyghur populations suffer forced labor and dangerous working conditions. Also, with wasteful environmental practices ingrained in its model, fast fashion is so harmful that most regulators believe it is irredeemable. As the king of fast fashion, Shein has a lot to answer for.

Still, as the company hires new sustainability-focused leaders and promises a new conscious approach, its efforts to market an enthusiastic ambition to jump on the ESG bandwagon should put it on the path to redemption, right? Not quite.

How ESG investing got tangled up in America’s culture wars

Read the full story from NPR.

Anti-ESG Republicans say big financial firms are abusing their power to advance a liberal agenda on issues like diversity, social justice and, especially, climate change.

Many experts disagree, saying Republicans are distorting the goals and strategies of ESG investing.

It’s hard for most people to get a clear read of what ESG is amid the overheated rhetoric. Is the idea to bring about social changes that couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box? And what does it mean for things like your 401K when investors follow ESG principles?

This FAQ is for anyone who wants to better understand an investing trend that is becoming core to global financial markets and a new battlefront in American politics — including, possibly, in your own state.

ESG reports aren’t a replacement for real sustainability

Read the full story from Harvard Business Review.

Many corporate leaders are growing frustrated that their ESG efforts are not being rewarded in capital markets. But that’s because they are focusing on reporting more than on doing sustainability. Can companies embed sustainability and make it a source of competitive advantage? Yes, but only if they make it part of strategy. To do that they should undertake SWOT analyses through a sustainability lens, look specifically for material ESG issues that are resulting in risks and opportunities for the company, and then undertake and track return on sustainable investment, setting benchmarks, and tracking financial performance over time

They helped create ESG. Two decades later, some see a mess.

Read the full story at E&E News.

What started as a half-baked idea among low-level staffers at the United Nations has grown into the green Frankenstein of Wall Street. ESG investing is now worth nearly $2.8 trillion in assets worldwide, according to one estimate.

A big reason for the explosion is that the three-letter acronym has morphed into a vague symbol with few guidelines surrounding what it means. Put another way: It’s as if farmers could market vegetables as organic but without restrictions on genetic engineering.

All of this surprises ESG pioneers.

Webinar: Complying with SEC-Mandated Carbon Emissions Reporting

Jun 14, 2022, noon CDT
Register here

The recent SEC proposed rule that would require public companies to include certain climate-related information is being seen as a game-changer in ESG reporting. It also stands to accelerate boards of directors and the C-suite to hone their products, processes and business models to meet this new era of transparency and disclosure.

In this conversation,  Workiva and Persefoni, both of which have combined expertise in ESG and carbon emissions accounting, will provide the insider perspective on how global regulations are shaping the ESG disclosure field, as well as how companies are streamlining their reporting processes to include carbon emissions per SEC mandate. 

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • What outcomes might we expect from the SEC’s recent proposed rule?
  • How does this proposal rule compare and contrast with other emerging ESG requirements across the globe?
  • What are the leading examples of effective, efficient, reliable, timely and assurable ESG disclosure?
  • How should companies prepare? What should they do now?

Moderator:

  • Joel Makower, Co-Founder & Chairman, GreenBiz Group

Speakers:

  • Kristina Wyatt, SVP Global Regulatory Climate Disclosure, Persefoni
  • Steve Soter, Senior Director, Accounting Industry Principal, Workiva

If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.