Corporate Transparency and ESG Disclosure

Overview

Corporate Transparency and ESG Disclosure

The American Sustainable Business Network is working to address the growing concerns about business activities which are unaccounted for, or currently escape disclosure as negative externalities, activities which at this point also do not affect the P&L or balance sheet of corporations. ASBN is calling for policy solutions and other interventions which incentivize the method of True-Cost Accounting or sometimes known as Impact Weighted Accounts. Currently, we believe that policy incentives and or requirements must include considerations of current GAAP standards, regulatory intervention, accounting standards, valuation methodologies, ESG investment criteria, related reporting methods, tax regime reform and an overall increase in transparency and equity in corporate and business governance. 

Social and environmental externalities together with poor governance practices most acutely impact BIPoC communities and support systemic racism. ESG standards are a critical tool to use in creating a more just society and economy.

In order to incentivize corporate accountability and support greater corporate disclosure, including ESG disclosure, ASBN will work to advocate for policy solutions which drive:

  1. Higher levels of transparency across all financial disclosure and reporting 
  2. Inclusive metrics for evaluating real financial risk which include systemic ESG considerations,  
  3. Transparency and equity in insurers coverage and investments, as risk is primarily managed currently through the insurance industry
  4. Progressive tax incentives which encourage transparent and equitable corporate governance  
  5. Overall support for a just and equitable transition

ASBN seeks to engage thought leaders in our community and networks (including experts in current standard setting and reporting) to offer new proposals for updating policy affecting reporting standards, regulatory agencies, tax, business insurance, federal government procurement, state authority and related financial services. 

Read the ASBN – Social Economy Europe Joint Statement on ESG and the Sustainable Development Goals

Over the course of American Sustainable Business Network’s (ASBN) decade plus history, our organization along with our members and affiliates have consistently championed ideas and causes that contend social well-being and economic well-being are inextricably linked. Often ahead of the policy curve on a variety of issues centering and integrating this linkage, ASBN has time and again deployed convening strategies of cross-pollination, coalition building and “reconciliation of opposites” collaboration to drive impact and effect change.

We are privileged to continue on this path of partnership with Social Economy Europe (SEE), together with other thought leaders such as the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Oxford-SAID’s “Economics of Mutuality” initiative, Sara Horowitz’s “Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up”, and Rebecca Henderson of Harvard Business School (HBS) calling out the “Reimagining Capitalism” imperative by co-convening the global social economy enterprise community.

Of specific concern to ASBN is worsening economic and social inequality, prevalent in the United States at levels beginning to surpass historical records set almost a century ago. Predatory and extractive market, resource and wealth concentration coupled with growing environmental degradation and the planetary climate emergency exacerbate the lack of access to quality jobs, healthcare, food, water, education, transportation and housing for most people around the world. While ASBN whole-heartedly supports the Sustainable Development Goals originally published in 2015, six years later it is apparent that we are further away from achieving these goals than ever before, with a target date of 2030 only nine short years into an endangered future.

Therefore, the American Sustainable Business Network alongside our partners such as Social Economy Europe (SEE) are calling to revisit the 17 goals originally set with the specific objective of ensuring that destructive levels of inequality are directly addressed. Together with SEE, ASBN is proud to be partnered with ASBN board member, Michael Peck of 1worker1vote, and Ibon Zugasti of LKS-Mondragon on furthering the clarion call for needed urgent action as set forth in their paper, “ESGs and SDGs Meet their Port Alegre Moment” first published in March and then updated in November, 2021, for the ICA World Cooperative Congress in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Please find the paper here and watch this space for continued updates on our convening such timely and prescient work.

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Reporting of Executive Compensation Votes by Institutional Investment Managers

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) supports a proposal that would increase the reporting of proxy votes by management investment companies such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ASBC understands that the proposal would also require institutional investment managers to report executive compensation votes or say-on-pay votes, of which ASBC is supportive. ASBC agrees with SEC Chair Genslers statement that, This proposal will make it easier and more efficient for investors to get crucial information about proxy votes from funds.