Is there really such a thing as “non-financial” materiality?

Materiality Non-Financial YouTube Thumbnail

This is a podcast worth consuming. Professor Evan Epstein is excellent as the moderator. And Dave Curran of Paul Weiss does an incredible job – as the expert in corporate dysfunction – of explaining a number of hot ESG topics in an honest and clear manner. If you’re practicing law in the ESG space, this is a “must” listen.

I want to touch on Dave’s comments about materiality that start at about the 20-minute mark. His upshot is that there is no difference between “financial” and “non-financial” materiality – because if your company’s reputation suffers due to something that some might consider “non-financial,” that is going to result in a hit in the company’s pocketbook.

Here are the podcast show notes related to that segment in total:

(16:22) – His take on the “purpose of the corporation” debate (shareholder capitalism vs stakeholder capitalism). “Companies are being held to account for their promises and obligations.” “You can’t make empty statements anymore.” “The pressure shift is severe from a reputational risk.” “I don’t know of a non-financial consequence at a corporation, everything has a financial consequence.” “We need to bring the legal community up to speed to where the business community is.” “I call this phenomenon the Super Law: How ethical obligations can shape business and your practice.”