Sen. Whitehouse, Oregon and Illinois State Treasurers and Investors Call on the SEC to Create Standard Rules for Public Companies to Disclose Environmental, Social and Governance Information

Oct. 1, 2018

Media Advisory

Sen. Whitehouse, Oregon and Illinois State Treasurers and Investors Call on the SEC to Create Standard Rules for Public Companies to Disclose Environmental, Social and Governance Information

WHAT: Telephone press conference to call on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require public companies to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) information relevant to companies’ long-term risk and performance. In a new petition for rulemaking led by Professors Cynthia Williams and Jill Fisch, and joined by investors, state treasurers, public pension funds and unions – representing more than $5 trillion in assets under management – along with securities law experts and foundations, filers will call on the SEC to make these important updates to their disclosure rules.

For years, investors have been calling on the SEC to require companies to disclose various types of ESG performance and risks – from climate, to human capital management, to political spending, to tax, to human rights, to gender pay ratios. Today, the growing consensus from investors is that ESG information plays a central role in their ability to evaluate companies’ long- term performance and risk management. In response, many companies already are providing some of this information voluntarily. However, there are substantial problems with the nature, timing and extent of these voluntary disclosures. This makes it impossible for investors to compare companies, rely on the information or, ultimately, make smart investment decisions.

ESG information is material to investors, and the SEC has clear statutory authority to require public companies to disclose information relevant to these areas of performance and risks to investors.

During a time of relentless attacks on shareholder rights and corporate transparency, this call for greater ESG transparency highlights the importance of providing more, rather than less, information and voice to shareholders and the public.

WHO: U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read
Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs
Cynthia Williams, Osler Chair in Business Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Jill Fisch, Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Lisa Woll, CEO, U.S. SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
John Hoeppner, Head of U.S. Stewardship and Sustainable Investments, Legal & General Investment Management America
Patrick Doherty, Director of Corporate Governance, NYS Office of the State Comptroller
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen (moderator)

WHEN:12:30 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018

CALL IN NUMBER:
U.S. Toll-free: (800) 875-3456
Verbal Passcode: GILB 70701

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