The rising volatility of financial markets since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many investors to increase their focus on resilience, governance, and corporate leadership as they strive to understand which companies are best suited to withstand unpredictable disruptions.
This increase in focus has given further energy to financial markets’ already accelerating interest in environmental, social, and governance and sustainability factors. Investors and commentators ask whether outperformance on ESG not only supports the non-financial case for being associated with a company, but can indicate lower risk in downside scenarios. This increased focus was demonstrated and articulated by a May 2020 recommendation for increased SEC guidance on ESG related disclosure by the Investor-as-Owner Subcommittee of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee. As a result, companies are facing extensive requests for disclosure and reporting on ESG and sustainability factors.
Originally published in Bloomberg Law - June 2020.
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