DRIVING ESG REPORTING PROGRESS THROUGH DIALOGUE - REPORT
About this Report
This report is a summary o the key takeaways romthe “Measuring Corporate Sustainability” conerence;a stakeholder dialogue hosted by the NationalAssociation or Environmental Management on May 5,2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The purpose o the eventwas to discuss the challenges o the emerging eld o environment, social and governance (ESG) researchrom the perspective o business leaders, researchanalysts and the investment community.As the demand or insight into a company’s ESGperormance increases, companies are strugglingto keep up with the food o research requests. In arecent survey o its members, NAEM ound that somecompanies spend up to two ull-time equivalent (FTE)responding to external inormation requests.This challenge is especially prevalent among publicly-held U.S. corporations, where the task primarilyalls on the environmental, health and saety (EHS)manager. Oten times, it is unclear who the requestingentities are, how the questions are relevant to theiranalysis and who the audience or this inormation is.Survey atigue, coupled with the lack o transparencyabout ESG research methods has led some businessleaders to question the benets o participation.
To address these questions or its members, NAEMlaunched its ‘Green Metrics that Matter’ project in the allo 2010, with a survey o the association’s 75 leadershipcompanies. The questionnaire was designed to revealhow companies track metrics internally and which keyperormance indicators EHS and sustainability leadersreport to the C-Suite. A coinciding survey also was sentto 25 key ESG irms to request speciic inormationabout their analysis, their products and their primarycustomers.
The May conerence was an opportunity or membersto ask questions and discuss the current reportingsystem with ESG rms, third-party veriers,investor relations managers and nongovernmentalorganizations. Organized as a stakeholder dialogue,the meeting drew more than 100 participants.While prior stakeholder dialogues have generatedvaluable recommendations or improving the ESGreporting process, the NAEM event was perhaps therst to initiate a dialogue on behal o corporate EHSand sustainability managers; these are the businessleaders responsible or EHS data tracking, EHSprogram management and external sustainabilityreporting.The insights and recommendations outlined in thisreport refect their perspective, but are intended toserve business leaders, ESG researchers and investorsas well.For more inormation about this topic, please view:
“Green Metrics that Matter,” October 2010;
A study o how companies track and report ESG metrics internallyby NAEM.
“Rate the Raters,” February 2011;
A year-long study o environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings bySustainAbility.
“Translating ESG into sustainable business value,”March 2010;
A report rom an international workshopseries o the World Business Council or SustainableDevelopment and the UNEP Finance Initiative.
“2010 Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trendsin the United States”;
Annual trends report by the SocialInvestment Forum.