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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


ESG Issues for Corporates Risks and Opportunities

25 October 2019

Sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors have fast risen towards the top of the board agenda — corporates are increasingly aware that a failure to address these matters can be detrimental to their businesses, both financially and reputationally.

In the current business climate, a company’s purpose, culture and values have never been so under the microscope. Investors and wider society are increasingly of the view that the generation of profits cannot of itself be the ultimate purpose of a company, but rather to run a successful business with a clearly defined purpose and set of values which guide decision-making and with a long-term strategy which recognises the role that the company plays in wider society.

Investor pressure and the proliferation of a myriad of reporting frameworks, standards and requirements at the international, EU and domestic level in relation to sustainability and ESG reporting makes this a complex area for boards to navigate.  This briefing examines some of these reporting frameworks, standards and requirements (such as the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the UN Sustainable Development Goals), highlights key issues for boards to consider and action to take to ensure they are doing everything to mitigate ESG risks and seize ESG opportunities.

Growing the Green Economy

This article was initially published in Growing the Green Economy: Addressing the Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities, our far-reaching look at developments in ESG and sustainable finance. 

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