Leading ESG Experts Convened by Benchmark Digital Underscore Need for Investment-Grade ESG Data as Disclosure Frameworks Converge, New Regulations Emerge Business WireLeading ESG Experts Convened by Benchmark Digital Underscore Need for Investment-Grade ESG Data as Disclosure Frameworks Converge, New Regulations Emerge Business WireLeading ESG Experts Convened by Benchmark Digital Underscore Need for Investment-Grade ESG Data as Disclosure Frameworks Converge, New Regulations Emerge Business Wire
Impact Investing Forum 2022
London. April 28-29, 2022.
CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Benchmark Digital (Benchmark), a leading provider of cloud-based Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) software solutions, last week convened its inaugural ESG Executive Collaboration Forum, where expert speakers from across the ESG spectrum explained the importance of investment-grade ESG data to support the alignment of corporate sustainability reporting with regular financial reporting amid increasing regulation of corporate ESG disclosures.
Donavan Hornsby, Benchmark Digital Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, stated that ESG is tied to financial and other performance. Companies need to produce ESG data that’s not only accurate, verifiable, and useful for decision making. “Generating and reporting investment grade data is how companies will satisfy their stakeholders and, equally importantly, how they’ll foster an ESG culture that fuels a continuous cycle of improvement. It’s not about managing risks, it’s about resilience.
Experts discussed the implications of increased demands from institutional investors, stock markets, consumers, and governmental bodies around the world for accountability and transparency in the face of growing concerns about corporate sustainability.
The virtual event featured commentary by Mary Foley (Expert Services Strategy Director at Enhesa Compliance Management Solutions Provider); Joyce Coffee (Founder & President Climate Resilience Consulting); and Sarah Fortt–Lawson (Consultant at global law firm Vinson & Elkins).
The convergence of nonbinding disclosure guidelines and their accelerating alignment in new and emerging regulatory frameworks in E.U.K. and U.S. were discussed. Also, the transition of large- and mid-market businesses from conventional narrative-based ESG disclosure to formal reporting-based methods was discussed. Performance on these metrics is increasingly being evaluated against financial outcomes.
Sarah Fortt-Lawson stated that the lines between voluntary disclosure and required disclosure are blurring. She highlighted the importance of investment-grade ESG data, in her summary of the trends in the ESG space. It’s about ESG strategy being driven more from operational and strategic considerations than disclosure and stakeholder engagement.
Participants also learned about the benefits of investment-grade ESG data, and the sustained ESG performance outcomes that it enables.
Joyce Coffee made a touching reference to the motivation behind the “Finance Day” of COP26. She explained that “climate risk is in fact an investor risk… [P]erhaps that’s why we can also look forward to resilience becoming a competitive edge… It’s important that all of us who care about saving lives, improving livelihoods, and stabilizing middle-class markets have a manifesto to build resilience instead of avoiding risk for some.
You can access the recording of last week’s remarks and presentations here. Register for the December 8th, 2021 session to learn more about ESG Executive Collaboration Forum and suggest future topics. Visit the ESG Executive Collaboration Forum registration page.
About Benchmark ESG (TM)
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Leading ESG Experts Convened by Benchmark Digital Underscore Need for Investment-Grade ESG Data as Disclosure Frameworks Converge, New Regulations Emerge Business Wire