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The Evolving Landscape of ESG Factors in North America: From Regulation to Responsibility

October 10, 2023
The Evolving Landscape of ESG Factors in North America

The increasing prominence of ESG factors in North America reflects a broader shift towards more sustainable and responsible business practices, driven by a combination of regulatory changes, investor demands, consumer preferences, and industry-specific trends.

Governments in the United States and Canada have introduced policies promoting ESG considerations, particularly focused on climate change and emissions reduction. These policies serve to create a regulatory environment that encourages and supports businesses in adopting sustainable and responsible practices. Institutional investors, including pension funds and asset managers, are leading the charge in advocating for ESG integration, recognizing its importance for long-term risk management.

Various organizations and regulatory bodies, such as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB), the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are working on developing and proposing frameworks and regulations for reporting on climate-related matters. These efforts are largely based on recommendations from established frameworks like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). The private equity and venture capital sectors are increasingly factoring in ESG considerations in their investment decisions, recognizing their impact on the long-term value and risk profile of investments.

The modern slavery legislation plays a crucial role in the realm of sustainability reporting.

Modern slavery legislation enacted in various countries requires companies to disclose their efforts in combating human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery within their operations and supply chains. This transparency fosters accountability, pushing businesses to conduct thorough risk assessments, implement due diligence processes, and provide training to their staff and suppliers. However, achieving compliance isn’t without its challenges, particularly for companies with intricate global supply chains. They grapple with the complexity of tracing every tier of their supply chain and verifying labor practices. Collaboration with NGOs, industry groups, and stakeholders is essential for sharing knowledge and resources, while the use of technology and tools, like supply chain mapping software, aids in identifying and mitigating risks. Ultimately, modern slavery legislation is a cornerstone in the broader framework of sustainability reporting, driving businesses towards more responsible and ethical practices in pursuit of a sustainable future.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to operationalizing ESG. Every company and Organization have to align its ESG strategies with the specific characteristics, stakeholder concerns, and secondary market liability implications.

The ultimate goal is to set a worldwide baseline for sustainability and climate-disclosure reporting, with a focus on areas such as governance, strategy, risk management, metrics, and targets related to climate change.

Do you want to stay informed on regulatory changes, meet investor demands, understand reporting frameworks, navigate modern slavery legislation and customize ESG Strategies? Now you have the opportunity to gain all the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to navigate the evolving landscape of ESG factors in North America by attending our upcoming Canada | Certified Sustainability (ESG) Practitioner Program, Leadership Edition 2023, Digital Version with Live Zoom Sessions, on October 19-20 & 23, 2023

Claim your spot on time! For group discount contact us at [email protected]

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