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Corporate disclosure on environmental and social topics for governance professionals

ESG Concepts. Businessman Working on Tablet. Sustainable Resources.

Increased public scrutiny of corporate action and disclosure on environmental and social topics has generated concern that both leaders and laggards are at risk of unwanted attention.

Amidst the shifting landscape of environmental and social regulations and stakeholder expectations, Nasdaq ESG Solutions gathered input from governance professionals across the Nasdaq network, including company secretaries, general counsels, executives, and board members, to identify leading practices informing their approach to ESG and sustainability. They raised corporate sustainability and social responsibility disclosures, as well as the role of ratings in reputation and risk management, as key topics.

Several of the governance professionals predicted that the days of broad aspirational statements in sustainability and corporate social responsibility reports are waning as risk mitigation further influences the information shared in voluntary disclosures. The resulting approach for many organisations is to disclose the most impactful environmental and social metrics and policies sought by investors and rating organisations, and those most critically aligned with the business strategy and goals.

In addition to corporate sustainability and social responsibility disclosures and the role of ratings in reputation and risk management highlighted above, governance professionals Nasdaq spoke with raised valuable focus areas to build upon in 2023, including best practices to:

  • Establish organisational and operational design for strong governance
  • Define ‘materiality’ in the context of ESG
  • Deepen board knowledge and education on ESG matters

Take a closer look at these focus areas and best practices in Nasdaq’s guide: ESG & Sustainability Trends and Leading Practices for Governance Professionals

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