Balancing climate disclosure & climate action

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– Avoid the sand traps of climate disclosure that could lessen the impact of your climate change goals
– Five steps to balancing climate disclosure and climate action

Here’s a write-up from our advisory board member, Ginny Fogg: This article by Ari Frankel of Solebury Trust, “Threading the needle between disclosure and action,” featured in IR Magazine reminds companies to not lose sight of the purpose behind your sustainability program as you enhance your sustainability goals and disclosure.  Avoid the “sand traps” by not setting goals that are too nebulous, too difficult to validate or too far into the future.  Focusing too heavily on climate change disclosure and adopting lofty long-term goals can lessen climate change action.  And less action means that your sustainability program has less of a positive impact on the planet.

The article lays out five steps to balance climate change disclosure and climate change action:

  1. Prioritize ESG topics with a materiality assessment
  2. Educate stakeholders on your top priorities
  3. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) and focus on using an established framework for disclosure
  4. Set near-term goals that can be achieved in the next three to four years
  5. Integrate ESG into your financial reporting and consider shortening – or even avoiding – stand-alone sustainability reports

As more companies adopt science-based targets and make climate change pledges, this article provides useful advice on how to also remain focused on near-term goals and actual results.