President Biden has made his climate agenda clear. Hours after he was sworn in, Biden announced the country would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, dismantling two of the more than 100 environmental actions taken by the Trump administration, with the remainder destined to end up in the same dustbin. As he looks to restock agencies with people eager to implement his ESG agenda, SEC commissioner candidates point to signs for more stringent public company disclosures. We’ll dive into the current actions being considered in the context of financial regulators’ supervisory role and help you think through the business dimensions of the new Administration’s ESG roadmap.
Governments, regulators and investors alike are increasing their focus on climate risk—and opportunity—in the global financial system. As global momentum continues to build towards a commitment to “net zero,” every company in every industry will be impacted. Those companies with a well-articulated long-term strategy to manage their most material climate-related risks will set themselves apart with stakeholders. But what does that actually look like? This session will help you gain a better understanding of how shareholders are engaging with companies on sustainability-related factors that will impact shareholder returns and how you can improve your communication efforts to meet their reporting expectations.
We’ll break into small groups for interactive discussions with fellow directors on how boards are rethinking committee structure, meeting agendas, board composition and performance in response to addressing new ESG considerations and stakeholder expectations.
Coming out of 2020, there is heightened attention on how companies are responding to their employees, suppliers, customers and communities. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer called on companies to enhance diversity and inclusion disclosures, specifically calling out 67 S&P 100 companies. Goldman Sachs Asset Management has increased its focus on how companies approach social considerations in their core business model in the long-term. And, new SEC disclosure standards require companies to provide stakeholders insight into human capital. This session will help you gain a better understanding of how shareholders are engaging with companies on the social factors of ESG and explore the key questions you should be asking your legal, compliance and HR departments to properly oversee the issues.
How are high-performing boards structuring and operationalizing ESG oversight at the board and committee level? Does your board have the necessary expertise and skills to oversee ESG risks and opportunities? We’ll gather a panel of veteran directors to explore how they think about board structure and processes for overseeing ESG in the context of strategy, including how their boards allocate different elements of the ESG conversations among committee agendas, what data gets elevated to the board level, how they establish reporting thresholds, and how they ensure they are taking proactive steps to improve their oversight.
Many boards find themselves debating how they can better bind their executive incentives to their strategy and mission, and more broadly, to their impacts on the environment and society. But even with clear objectives, it’s difficult to measure ESG outcomes in a way that meaningfully aligns pay with performance. Even for short-term goals, success is often highly subjective and difficult to measure. This panel will help your board objectively consider the non-financial elements that are drivers of your organization’s future success and how you can establish corresponding incentive plans that balance those goals with your performance in a way that provides both rigor and clarity.
Boards are faced with an alphabet soup of ESG metrics, complicating their ability to benchmark and report on decisions that are unique to their company and can’t always be standardized. The World Economic Forum’s International Business Council released the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics with a core set of 21 universal, comparable disclosures focused on people, planet, prosperity and principles of governance. Learn how companies, regardless of industry or region, can strengthen their ability to benchmark their progress, improve decision-making and enhance accountability on the sustainable value they are creating for stakeholders.