In this edition of BLB&G's Speaker Series, attorneys Ben Galdston and Lucas Gilmore welcome Jim Coburn and Andrew Collins, leaders from Ceres and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board ("SASB") respectively, to discuss the rising demand by institutional investors, policymakers and public interest groups of improved corporate disclosure regarding climate and sustainability issues.
Climate change and its regulation pose significant and increased risks to public companies' operations and financial results. Since 1980, weather and climate disasters have caused losses of over $1 trillion in the U.S. alone. Experts predict these climate change-related costs will only continue to intensify. Moreover, new climate-related federal and state regulations have dramatically impacted the electric power, coal, oil and gas, transportation and insurance industries.
Despite these known trends, it is estimated that more than 75% of public companies fail to make adequate disclosures regarding climate and sustainability risks. While the SEC issued guidance in 2010 regarding how public companies should address and report material risks posed by climate change, the SEC has yet to pursue any formal enforcement action. As a result, investors have suffered enormous losses when the undisclosed sustainability and climate risks materialize.
The battle of the resolutions – focus on ExxonMobil:
• Can an informal alliance of global investors achieve their aim of establishing a new set of norms around climate risk reporting and disclosure?
• With European investors and corporations broadly backing calls for improved climate risk reporting and disclosure, is this the moment we will see North America come on board?
• Will this resolution end the apparent inconsistency by asset owners and asset managers who vote for climate risk resolutions when supported by management but not when companies resist?
• Patrick Doherty, Director of Corporate Governance, NYS Office of the State Comptroller (USA)
• Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment, Church Commissioners (UK)
• Anne Simpson, Investment Director, Global Governance, CalPERS (USA)
• Helen Wildsmith, Stewardship Director - Climate Change, CCLA Investment Management (UK)•
• Shanna Cleveland, Senior Manager - Carbon Asset Risk Initiative, Ceres
Stockholder Proposal Regarding Report on Climate Change Impact Assessment is Item No 12 on the ballot at ExxonMobil’s AGM on 25 May. It has been co-filed by England’s Church Commissioners and the New York State Common Retirement Fund in the US. This transatlantic partnership is a first for the Church Commissioners.
The resolution asks ExxonMobil to improve its annual reporting on climate risk and to disclose to investors how resilient the company’s portfolio would be if efforts to restrict warming to 2° were successful. In an article written by Edward Mason for Responsible Investor link, he explains that their resolution doesn’t ask ExxonMobil to change its house view that the 2° target will be overshot. It simply asks them to report on how the business would fare were the Paris Agreement to be implemented. It is the same request for reporting on portfolio resilience that the “Aiming for A” shareholder resolutions made of BP and Shell in 2015.
Head of Responsible Investment, Rick Stathers, comments on the implications of climate change on the investment industry.Read more >
As the global economy copes with the unpredictable challenges of climate change, institutional investors are exploring the potential impact of these changes on financial assets. With recent announcements by the Financial Stability Board in Basel and the Bank of England to examine the risks posed by ‘Stranded Assets’, more investors are calculating their exposure to high carbon assets and looking for ways to diversify into low or no carbon alternatives.
There are a growing number of options available to institutional investors. Some Asset Owners have announced plans to divest from high carbon assets, while others have looked to low carbon indexes which either exclude or reweight exposure to carbon-intensive companies while limiting short-term risk against the benchmark. We invite you to join a discussion with leading experts to examine the extent to which asset owners feel they are exposed to climate risk; the role of asset managers to encourage good practice when addressing climate change and carbon risk and how asset managers can effectively implement a low carbon strategy through index funds.
In this webcast Neville and Robin discuss the risk and opportunities presented to investors by climate change and EdenTree's response.Read more >
Kevin Lindstrom, Physical Sciences and Engineering Librarian at the University of British Columbia, will highlight the in-depth engineering environmental research on receding glaciers and rising sea levels. Learn how researchers can use GEOBASE & GeoRef to gain the insights necessary for predicting the drastic climate challenges that are impacting the earth’s sustainability.Read more >
Join this panel of industry experts as they discuss recent and imperitive Climate Change Policies and Developments:
- Emilie Mazzacurati, Manager, Carbon Market Research North America, Point Carbon
- Chris Busch, Policy Director, Center for Resource Solutions
- Nicholas Bianco, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute
- Neal Dikeman, Jane Capital Partners
ESG is on the rise. There is a clear trajectory that has built up since the end of the last century establishing good governance and oversight as an important part of the fiduciary duty for both companies and investors. The direction of travel is clear. Join Schroders’ Head of Stewardship Jessica Ground as she explores the seismic changes unfolding across the investment landscape, and discusses why ESG integration and engagement should be an integral part of the equity and fixed income investment process -- potentially leading to better outcomes.Read more >
Ganzheitliche und nachhaltige Energieeffizienz im Office und im Serverraum / Rechenzentrum.Read more >
California has taken the lead on Climate Change policies with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This Air Resources Board recently published its blue print with a dizzying array of forthcoming policies and regulations that will influence state and federal laws and policies on Climate Change for years to come. This talk will address these regulatory strategies which range from alternative energy, industrial emissions, green building, and mandatory carbon inventories.Read more >
MCLE application pending.
State and national legislation to address climate change is significantly altering the land use patterns in our nation's cities and rural areas. This talk will cover some of the major shifts that climate change legislation will have on the type of development that will be permitted and/or encouraged and will also touch on the new procedures and hurdles that landowners and developers will likely encounter in seeking project approval. Examples will be given from the implementation California's recent legislation, and we will also examine initiatives in other states and predict how the upcoming national effort could further impact the landscape.
According to the foreword to a recent report by the Environmental Defense Fund, “regulating the temperature of the planet by adjusting the mix of gases in our atmosphere is the most ambitious undertaking yet attempted by human beings,” and the effects of this effort on many companies “will be profound.” Many public bodies are preparing “adaptation plans” for a reasonable worst case climate change scenario, but private businesses have lagged behind. Even if one does not believe that CO2 and temperature are inextricably linked, businesses will need to adapt to the coming changes in regulation, and possibly to the effects of climate change itself.
This program will discuss the challenges that private companies face in adapting to climate change, including physical exposure, changing prices for energy, water and other inputs, as well as regulatory, reputational, and litigation exposures. The program will then outline steps that some leading companies can take to plan for and address these challenges and to identify strategic and market opportunities.
E. Donald Elliott is a partner and chair of the Environment, Health and Safety Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. He is also Professor (Adjunct) of Law, Yale Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. He is the leading expert in private practice on disclosure and adaptation to climate change issues. Elliott was Assistant Administrator and General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Mr. Elliott holds degrees from Yale College and Yale Law School.
Ari G. Altman is an Associate in the Environment, Health and Safety Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Mr. Altman received a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, an M.A. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. from Princeton University.
Hermine Nalbandian presents her latest researchRead more >
Vestas, a leader in modern energy, chose IBM Big Data technologies - InfoSphere BigInsights, to pinpoint the optimal location for wind turbines to maximize power generation and reduce energy costs. Solution reduces response time for wind forecasting information by approximately 97 percent—from weeks to hours—to help cut development time.Read more >
We are living through unprecedented times in markets and finding good investments is harder than ever. Join the Hawksmoor Fund Management Team in their inaugural quarterly investment update as they discuss the current markets and the positioning of the top decile Hawksmoor Vanbrugh & Distribution Funds.Read more >
The presentation will focus on the design of market based solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and will emphasize the advantages and experiences of Cap-and-trade as a climate change policy instrument.
Point Carbon is a world-leading provider of independent news, analysis and consulting services for European and global power, gas and carbon markets. Point Carbon’s comprehensive services provide professionals with market-moving information through monitoring fundamental information, key market players and business and policy developments.
As cap-and-trade legislation is working its way through the U.S. Congress, maintaining the legislation's underlying environmental credibility while mitigating unreasonable economic hardships will be essential for a successful outcome. The use of offsets (i.e., project based greenhouse gas emission reductions from non-capped sources) will play a central role in achieving these dual objectives as part of the overall legislative scheme.
You will hear details of how offsets are contemplated to be used within the U.S. legislative scheme; explore their history and future in international climate change policy; and how they are likely to effect your business and industry.
There could be no better reminder to investors of the need to keep environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in mind than the current problems of VolkswagenRead more >
Responding to Climate Change Imperative: Reducing Energy Use & Operating CostsRead more >
Energy-Efficient Computing is a high impact but low-cost, low-effort way to reduce energy-related costs and CO2 emissions. Pat Tiernan, the Executive Director of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a nonprofit group of consumers, businesses and conservation organizations dedicated to reducing the energy consumption of computing equipment, will kick off the Americas portion of the Green IT Summit. The presentation will cover some of the immediate actions you can take to reduce energy consumption, eliminate waste and provide a significant shareholder return, such as adopting power management and including high efficiency computing equipment in your procurement guidelines. The agenda will cover best practices and strategies for achieving ROI through energy efficient computing, including case studies that demonstrate energy and cost savings from computer power management and steps to enable a successful policy-driven approach to Green IT.Read more >
The Earth's resources are going down, their costs are going up; but why should businesses bother?
Given the Earth's dwindling finite resources companies are facing more financial, environmental and reputational pressures than ever. But with the dust of the recession barely settled and boardrooms awash with pressing issues, just how important is sustainability to core business and how much weight can the sustainability champion bring to bear on their company's reputation, stakeholder confidence and ultimately bottom line?
Join this webinar where our experts will be debating the call for technology-enabled change in corporations' approaches to sustainability:
- Setting the scene; what is the future outlook for resource cost and availability and what does this mean for corporations?
- How does your sustainability measure up against other companies in your sector? From resource usage to energy output, gain precise insights into how efficient you are
- More than just a box-ticking exercise: Embed a sustainability model tailored to your business which effectively manages resources, delivers savings and reliable information to reassure investors, empower employees and improve the bottom line
Join CIO Executive strategist Jack Santos as he discusses vendor management strategies with licensing expert Ania Levy of Levy Legette.
An expense strategy that works regardless of economic climate (good or bad) coupled with a growth in cloud-based IT makes supplier relationship skills a core competency for IT departments. Meanwhile, software vendors continue to make the licensing process unnecessarily complex, and both parties lack the lessons of experience to police and administer agreements.
Ms. Levy’s extensive experience with vendor negotiation, contract review, and software licensing will enable her to share with us her insights into the world of vendor and contract management.
John Chatfeild-Roberts discusses why he is feeling optimistic about investing in the current climate and his take on holding gold as an investment at the moment.Read more >
From Ireland to Portugal to Greece, and from Spanish real estate to Italian bad loans to Brexit -- Europe has been seemingly living from crisis to crisis since 2008. Investment climate remains challenging in many areas, as economic growth, bad debt and the Euro remain key risks.
At least one place in Europe, however, may offer an intriguing investment opportunity: an economy with healthy growth, manageable debt, and a major, non-Euro currency. Welcome to Sweden.