Making ESG Reporting Work for Companies

By Dan Esty and Tyler Yeargain; Corporate Eco Forum; December 6, 2020

More and more investors want better alignment between their values and their portfolios – thus driving expanded interest in corporate sustainability performance as gauged by Environmental/Social/Governance (ESG) metrics. But the existing ESG data frameworks – largely provided by private rating firms such as MSCI, Sustainalytics, Bloomberg, ISS/Oekom, Refinitiv, and others – suffer from a number of structural problems (outlined in more detail below), fail to provide a reliable basis for cross-company comparisons, and therefore don't inspire investor confidence.

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Earth Day

Yale's Jeff Sonnenfeld and Dan Esty write for Fortune about how America's leadership has largely shifted its thinking about the environment, on this 50th anniversary of what became known as Earth Day. They describe a virtual summit—it would have had a greater carbon footprint if not for COVID-19—in which a series of CEOs "explained how a sharpened environmental focus helped their businesses to cut costs, reduce risks, expand sales, and add value to their bottom line." Fortune
Dan Esty has also contributed an Earth Day op-ed for The Hill.

How to rethink environmental policies from “no” to “go”

Public policy can steer incentives for a more effective response to climate change, says Daniel Esty of Yale University

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES are often based on thou-shalt-not rules. They signal to the market what is not desired. Though incentives to spur industry to action also exist, they are overshadowed by these “red lights”. Daniel Esty, an environmental lawyer at Yale University, wants to change this.

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