Closing the ESG gap in corporate reporting

In this episode of The Better Finance podcast, host Myles Corson and guests discuss how ESG plays a vital role in investor communications and what investors are looking for companies to disclose.

Podcast host Myles Corson welcomes Brian Tomlinson, Director of Research, CEO Investor Forum, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), and Marc Siegel, a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and EY partner. Together they discuss the acceleration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in corporate reporting. Their conversation also considers the increasingly vital role ESG plays in investor communications and what investors are looking for companies to disclose.

There has been an acceleration in the volume of ESG information being shared on earnings calls and using differing approaches. This episode takes a deeper dive into these emerging reporting issues and how they can support value creation.

CECP was founded with the vision that CEOs and the companies they lead should be a force for good in society. It is CECP’s mission to help companies focus on developing a social strategy, improving community relations, and overall allowing leaders to be a positive force for good.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, investors have also been looking for companies to provide timely information on how they are adapting to a rapidly changing environment – including details on health, safety and productivity of the workforce, such as access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

A complex ecosystem of ESG organizations exists for companies to navigate. The World Economic Forum’s International Business Council (WEF-IBC) recently proposed a set of common metrics for measuring long-term value creation derived from existing standard setters.

Key takeaways:

  • Companies must look for ways to articulate progress on their long-term strategy against a broader set of financial and nonfinancial KPIs, including ESG-related targets.
  • With an increased focus on diversity, inclusion and employee health, spending time on an earnings call or at the AGM (annual general meeting) can help investors understand how a company is progressing with their people agenda.
  • Regulatory and market-driven initiatives around ESG are moving very quickly and could have significant impacts. Continue to monitor this evolving space and evaluate how best to reflect what is important to your business.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. 


Season 3, Episode 7