Survey overload? Yikes, what’s a good ESG professional to do?

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– Do you need to respond to all the ESG surveys?
– Do you have to review all the ESG rating reports?
– How do you cut through the overload and figure out what’s most worth your time and attention?

Here’s a write-up from our advisory board member, Ginny Fogg: These are questions I hear often from ESG professionals at companies. Survey overload is real. Let’s face it – ESG professionals are busier than ever wearing lots of hats to develop or enhance a sustainability policy, adopt meaningful ESG targets, get buy-in at all levels of the company, come up with a spiffy ESG report and then talk to lots and lots of shareholders about it.

So what to do about all the surveys and rating reports that keep coming? Do you have to respond to them? Do you need to review all of them? Is it worth your time?

There’s no requirement to respond, but it will save you lots of time down the road. And you can gain some valuable insight by paying attention to what they’re asking for.

Start with some research about who is sending you the survey. Who uses their rating? How do your peers’ ratings compare to your rating? Responding to these requests for information is a great way to be sure your information is accurate and complete. That can save you a lot of conversations with your shareholders about ratings that are not as favorable as you think they should be.

If rating agencies send you a copy of their report and rating for your company, check your data. If it’s not correct, talk to the agency to have corrections made. You also may receive requests for information from investor coalitions. It’s always in your best interest to talk to them, and it may even head off a shareholder proposal down the road.