ESG has been doing very well. Not only is it getting more public attention, but it is receiving significant inflows. Well, things are about to change from the corporate and regulatory perspectives as well. The Biden administration’s SEC is preparing to adopt a new policy on shareholder resolutions that relate to things like ESG and social justice. The Trump administration had made it very easy for companies to dismiss such resolutions as “micro management” but the current SEC aims to give them more teeth. While such resolutions—things like demands to report gross carbon emissions, or minority compensation—are not legally binding, they do put management under pressure to answer tough questions and garner a great deal of press.
FINSUM: This is going to compel top management to play ball with shareholders on resolutions they would otherwise love to ignore.