This feature of our blog is where our in-house readers share tips, anecdotes and thoughts about things that come up in their daily practice. This particular batch of thoughts is about handling a company’s climate transition as a team [feel free to ping me and share your thoughts – they will be posted anonymously or with attribution, whichever you desire]:
1. “Given that the new climate rule proposal puts a significant amount of new “E”-related disclosure within the scope of disclosure and internal controls, the ESG team should now include internal audit, technical accounting/SEC reporting, legal, environmental, health & safety teams, external auditors and attestation shops and, to a much greater extent, the board and various committees that oversee ESG-related topics, risks and opportunities.
Thinking through a timeline from now until the proposed implementation dates of the SEC’s climate proposal is a good idea. The timeline should include all relevant board/committee meetings, what should be included on the agendas for these meetings related to rule proposals, and the various management workstreams needed to be completed in order to provide helpful report-outs to the board/committees.” – Regina King Doe
2. “Collaboration is great in theory. Much harder in practice. Just sayin’.” – Viola Davis Doe
3. “As we are working on assessing our climate materiality in earnest, we are at the beginning of what promises to be a long ESG journey. We have a cross-functional team led by IR, PR and Legal.
I would recommend reaching deep into your company because there are a lot of folks who are passionate and informed about these areas. They want to be involved and want to lead change. Plus you have to have senior executive buy-in and support, which is sometimes challenging. So when your investors ask IR, it helps with connectivity back-up to the C-suite!” – Kirsten Dunst Doe
4. “We are in the third year of integrating departments and their efforts towards climate and I continue to be surprised by the challenges that surface. It seems it’s a never-ending process of putting out fires or being completely off-guard.” – Maria Shriver Doe
5. “We are fortunate that senior management is completely committed to transitioning our business model. The surprising part has been the rest of the workforce. They can’t seem to wrap their heads around how dire the circumstances are.” – Eric Weddle Doe
6. “We hired a Chief Sustainability Officer for the first time last year. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a Corporate America background and the transition has been rough. The practicalities and realities of corporate life escape her and working remotely hasn’t helped because it’s hard to grasp that reality when working from home.” – Penny Dreadful Doe
7. “It’s imperative for each member of your ESG team to fall in line with the strategy. Having a strong leader of the effort – supported by the C-Suite and with some sort of project manager experience – might be the single most important factor in whether a company can pull this off.
It’s hard to develop signposts that achieve real goals that match what a company has pledged to accomplish.” – Rick and Morty Doe
Tune in later today from 3:00-4:00 pm eastern (or catch it by archive later) for a video program – “The SEC’s Climate/Cyber Rulemakings: Your Action Items Now” – that will cover the practical side of the SEC’s recent climate and cybersecurity disclosure rule proposals. You’ve already learned the basics about what the SEC has proposed – but what might you consider now to get a jump on being adequately prepared? Join Perkins Coie’s own Amelia Gerlicher, Allison Handy, Marcy Hupp and Broc Romanek by registering for this complimentary program now…