A foundation official said that more than half of companies in the S&P 500 now use a common standard from the Value Reporting Foundation to report on topics such as carbon emissions and energy management, indicating that executives may soon face new rules. Paying more attention to areas with potential. .
“The market has already gained a lot of momentum in the direction of the SEC” [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] Neil Stewart, director of corporate outreach for the global non-profit organization, said in an interview.
As of August 31, 324 companies in the S&P 500 use the foundation’s benchmark, up from 201 companies at the end of 2020, according to the group, which is backed by large asset managers including BlackRock Inc. and State Street Corp.
The guidance describes how companies in various sectors should disclose environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) matters.
The foundation said the standard is also being overused in non-US indices. Use of a separate ESG effort, the Global Reporting Initiative, has also increased, with at least 10,000 users worldwide, a spokesman for the initiative said.
The SEC this year requested public comment on how it can direct companies to report similar content on their climate impacts and other areas. Agency officials did not immediately comment on the status of the review Friday.
In a “sample letter” on its website, the SEC described the types of questions it currently asks companies.
These may include questions about the risks of litigation related to climate change, or requests from companies to explain why statements in voluntary corporate social responsibility reports differ from statements made in SEC filings.
“The takeaway for me is that companies should take this as an opportunity to reevaluate their materiality decisions in climate matters,” said Covington’s attorney, Matthew Franker.
by Ross Kerbere
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times