The rising importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure hit a tipping point in the last year. Entering a definitively new disclosure era, companies cannot afford to be passive — they need to aggressively target and pursue ESG goals. Just as important, companies need to be proactive and strategic about communicating their ESG performance. A new 3-part webinar series from Toppan Merrill provides a roadmap to building, enhancing and future-proofing an ESG disclosure strategy to engage investors and define a new business advantage.
ESG goes mainstream
The pandemic, climate change-induced crises and social issues converged to rapidly make companies’ ESG efforts a front-and-center concern for investors, analysts, regulators and the broader public. Moreover, the business value of ESG has become impossible to ignore - companies with strong ESG programs can address investment criteria for current or potential shareholders, attract and retain top talent, prepare for potential ESG regulations, and mitigate risk to business operations.
of investors say ESG performance has become more important since the COVID-19 pandemic1
3 in 4
investors say they consider climate change impacts when making investment decisions2
in global ESG assets in 2022 - expected to top $50 trillion by 20253
ESG disclosure in the spotlight
The most credible ESG programs include reportable, repeatable, and auditable data. ESG disclosures are also being tallied — with stakeholders searching for company commitments to ESG through public disclosure of information on a website, sustainability reports, annual reports, proxy statements, or rating publications.
Investors are looking for hard data on ESG performance — and they’re wary of “greenwashing.” To that end, regulators are looking to support credible ESG disclosure by creating standards that provide a common formula or baseline for reporting, analyzing and comparing ESG performance between companies and across all industries.
One of the many challenges facing companies is that ESG performance can be a nuanced story to communicate. Unlike questions about growth or profitability (which are easier to answer definitively), ESG disclosures need to provide objective answers to complex questions like:
- What are we doing to respond to the climate crisis?
- How are we disclosing information in compliance with new environmental regulations?
- How will we respond to societal pressures from activist organizations?
ESG Emerging Communication Trends: 3-part webinar series
While almost every company has ESG somehow woven into its business strategy and operations, consistently and credibly communicating ESG performance in a compelling manner is a new frontier for most companies. Moreover, the rapid evolution of best practices and the emergence of standards and requirements mean that every company is trying to figure out how to speak a language that’s being created as we speak it.
Toppan Merrill has helped forward-thinking companies across all sectors build and execute strategies for ESG communication and disclosure for the past decade. Now, we’ve assembled that experience and expertise into a new, three-part web series. This webinar series delivers actionable insights for companies at all levels of ESG maturity — from how to get started, to the common mistakes and hard-learned lessons many companies miss, to where we believe we are headed in the coming years in terms of standards and expectations.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
03:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Panelists: Alexandra Higgins (Managing Director, Okapi Partners), Pete Spalding (Chief Growth Officer, Lorraine Gregory Communications), Mike Spelman (Director of Proxy Solutions, Toppan Merrill), Karen Fisher (Proxy Advisory Services, Toppan Merrill)
Building an ESG program can be overwhelming when you consider all the potential topics that make up “E,” “S,” and “G” and the reality that ESG covers all functional areas of a company. Part 1 of our webinar series brings together a team of ESG experts who will demystify the first steps in developing your program while providing clear and concise guidance for its evolution.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Panelists: Zally Ahmadi (SVP, Corporate Governance, ESG & Executive Compensation, D.F. King), Christine Tan (Co-founder and Chief Research Officer, idaciti), Kirstie Carter (Corporate Secretary and Executive Assistant, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust), Mike Spelman (Director of Proxy Solutions, Toppan Merrill) Karen Fisher (Proxy Advisory Services, Toppan Merrill)
The second webinar in the series features a team of industry experts who will discuss the lessons learned over the past year as companies determined what avenue of disclosure was best and what may lie ahead as standardized ESG disclosures begin to take a front row seat in proxies and annual reports.
Thursday, July 7, 2022 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Nicole Fritz (Assistant Corporate Secretary and Senior Counsel, Corporate Governance & Securities, The Kraft Heinz Company), Brian Valerio (Senior Vice President, Advisory Group of Alliance Advisors) Mike Spelman (Director of Proxy Solutions, Toppan Merrill), Karen Fisher (Proxy Advisory Services, Toppan Merrill)
ESG disclosure can’t be reactive. In this final webinar, our expert panel will discuss how to build a future-proof ESG program, including assembling a team of cross-functional stakeholders who are fit to identify and evaluate ESG risks, opportunities, and performance in your company from all necessary perspectives to ensure your program will have the internal support to succeed.