WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC), in partnership with Nasdaq, Nareit, The Real Estate Roundtable, National Investor Relations Institute, TechNet, BIO, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group released results from a climate change/environmental, social, and governance (ESG) survey. Over 430 companies participated in the survey, which was conducted to learn more about current practices and the outlook for climate change and ESG reporting from the public company perspective and to ultimately inform policymakers as they consider the impacts new mandates would have on public companies and their shareholders.
The findings from the survey show that most companies are regularly communicating with their shareholders and disclosing more information regarding the evolving risks of climate change. Since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its 2010 guidance on climate change disclosure, 59% of companies said they are disclosing more information regarding climate change. When it comes to shareholder communication, nearly two-thirds (63%) of companies are communicating with their shareholders regarding the evolving risk of climate change and 46% have increased the level of detail in climate change reporting due to shareholder input. The survey also finds companies overwhelmingly support (89%) scaling disclosure for companies based upon size and/or type of registrant, and 74% support phasing in any new disclosure requirements for all public companies.
“ESG is continuously evolving and for many public companies these issues are increasing in importance” said U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness Executive Vice President Tom Quaadman. “We believe communication between businesses and their investors is critical, and today’s survey results show that companies are doing their part to talk with their shareholders to better understand important issues and increase the amount of information they are disclosing. We will continue working with policymakers and our partners to ensure ESG and climate change disclosure is done in an effective way that incorporates input of those who will be most affected.”
The SEC is expected in the coming months to issue rulemakings that create new mandates for ESG disclosure and to update guidance on the issue. An overwhelming majority (84%) of companies support a flexible approach to disclosure and agree that any climate change disclosure rules adopted by the SEC should reflect the difference between various industries.
The full survey can be found here.