In a series of blogs, that is likely to be an ongoing topic for the foreseeable future, I have been discussing the barrage of environmental, social and governance (ESG) related activity and focus by capital markets regulators and participants. Climate change initiatives and disclosures have been singled out in the ESG discussions and as a particular SEC focus, and as such was the topic of the first blog in this series (see HERE). The second blog talked more generally about ESG investing and ratings systems and discussed the role of a Chief Sustainability Officer (see HERE). The last blog on the topic focused on current and prospective ESG disclosure requirements and initiatives, including the Nasdaq ESG Reporting Guide (see HERE).
ESG is not just a topic impacting social position disclosures but can go directly to the financial condition of a reporting company, and as such its financial statements. Accordingly, ESG reporting requires auditor and audit committee
On November 7, 2019, the SEC Investor Advisory Committee held a meeting on the topics of (i) whether investors use environmental, social and governance (ESG) data in making investment and capital allocation decisions; and (ii) the SEC’s recent concept release on harmonization of securities offering exemptions. For more on ESG matters, see HERE and for my blog on the SEC’s concept release on exempt offerings, see HERE. Both SEC Chair Jay Clayton and Commissioner Allison Herren Lee made remarks before the committee. As always, it is helpful in navigating our complex securities laws and regulatory priorities to stay informed on matters involving SEC decision makers and policy setters.
The Investor Advisory Committee was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to advise the SEC on regulatory priorities, the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures, the effectiveness of disclosure, and on initiatives to protect investor interests and to promote investor confidence and the integrity of the securities marketplace. The Dodd-Frank