S&P 500 proxy disclosures show governance board committees tend to oversee ESG

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Here is a 6-page report from Deloitte entitled “Navigating The ESG Journey In 2022 and Beyond,” which benchmarks ESG proxy disclosure about ESG board oversight structures. Not surprisingly, it shows that a majority of S&P 500 companies tap their nominating/governance board committee with primary oversight of ESG. Here is an excerpt:

Building on our 2020 initial research in this area, as highlighted in figure 3, there was a marked increase in 2021 in the percentage of S&P 500 companies disclosing in their proxies the primary committee(s) overseeing ESG relative to last year (from 72% to 86%). This trend likely is the result of companies progressing along an ESG maturity model (see figure 1 in PDF) that is more integrated into their core business strategy and risk program and defining how the board oversees such ESG efforts.

Notably, the 35 companies newly added to the S&P 500 this past year (see figure 2 in PDF) were more than twice as likely not to have disclosed the committee overseeing ESG, suggesting that company size and market expectations may have an impact on the formalization of an ESG governance framework.