BrownFlynn, an ERM Group company and active member for several years of the Society for Corporate Governance, was selected by the Society to co-author “The ESG Roadmap”.

Funded by a grant to Ceres from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the paper is intended for use by board members, corporate secretaries, and in-house legal counsel at publicly traded companies to facilitate more informed decision making regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, including disclosure of sustainability-related information and direct engagement with investors.

Companies continue to struggle with the concept of voluntary disclosure, especially with respect to non-regulated information such as ESG or sustainability data. Sustainability reporting is still voluntary, but increasingly becoming an expectation of influential market players. By equipping board members, corporate secretaries, and in-house legal counsel with the importance of ESG information to capital allocation, the growing investor expectation for disclosure, and the potential legal risks, companies will be better positioned to disclose ESG information relevant to investors.

The result? A more strategic disclosure of relevant ESG information to the markets. In addition, corporate secretaries will be better able to assist boards of directors and to improve governance through greater awareness of the potential financial implications of ESG performance, the specific environmental and social issues of concern, and the key practices and outcomes leading to better governance and therefore improved ESG performance.

The ESG Roadmap will be disseminated to approximately 1,000 public companies (approximately 70% of the S&P 500) represented by more than 1,900 Society members. Founded nearly 75 years ago, the Society seeks to be a positive force for responsible corporate governance, providing news, research and "best practice" advice and providing professional development and education through seminars and conferences.