Toronto (Canada) – Fasken has released a comprehensive survey of how Canadian public companies have approached Environmental, Social and Governance issues, providing a guide for corporate decision-makers navigating an array of increasingly complex ESG challenges.
The "Fasken 2023 ESG Disclosure Study" presents a wealth of new data and insights about Canadian businesses' ESG practices, based on information culled from more than 80 of Canada's largest public companies.
The survey's key topics include:
- Governance of ESG Issues: How are companies approaching oversight of environmental and social issues? Plus, an assessment of whether directors have ESG-related expertise and whether ESG-based metrics are being linked with executive compensation.
- ESG Disclosure: A look at where companies are disclosing ESG-related information and what reporting frameworks are referenced. The study also examines whether public issuers are obtaining third-party assurances for ESG-related disclosure and the nature of that assurance.
- 'E' and 'S' Goals and Targets: Are public companies setting, and reporting on, environmental and social goals and targets? An overview of the "E" and "S" matters that are the subject of such objectives, particularly noting goals and targets relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Shareholder Proposals: A consideration of the types of ESG-related shareholder proposals and their results.
- Social Issues: The central social matters that public issuers are considering.
- Forward-Looking Information: An outline of the range of approaches taken by public issuers toward disclosure around their greenhouse gas emission targets in relation to forward-looking information disclosure.
Turning to the year ahead, the survey highlights six key trends to watch:
- More ESG regulation worldwide
- Increased shareholder engagement on ESG-related issues
- Greater demands for third-party assurance of companies' ESG data
- Moves to ensure transparency around methodologies used by ESG ratings providers
- Additional ESG issues taking center stage (cybersecurity, human rights due diligence, biodiversity)
- Sharper focus on Indigenous reconciliation plans
"Looking Ahead to 2023," the authors conclude, "companies and their boards will need to continue to evaluate ESG considerations through a lens of risks, regulatory obligations and opportunities that are applicable to their company. Increasingly, companies and boards may be expected to articulate their view of these assessments clearly."
The full study is available here.
Fasken's interdisciplinary team helps clients evaluate emerging legal and regulatory ESG risks, capitalize on emerging opportunities, create oversight structures for such risks and opportunities, and identify and engage with relevant stakeholders and their key interests. For more information, see the Fasken ESG & Sustainability homepage, here.
Fasken is a leading international law firm with more than 800 lawyers and 10 offices on four continents. Clients rely on us for practical and innovative legal services. We solve the most complex business and litigation challenges, providing exceptional value. For additional information, please visit the Firm's website at fasken.com.