SEC begins to focus on Greenwashing

With the plight of the Pandemic, there is a clear need for global action on sustainable development from the world’s business leaders, according to a report by the United Nations Global Compact. The report from the UN Global Compact and Accenture showed that a growing number of companies were joining the compact – which requires member businesses to align with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption – and publishing information about their practices.

“A Business Case for Sustainable Development: Assessing 10 Years of Global Compact Membership,” is based on a survey of 1,213 CEOs from the world’s largest companies by revenue, that belong to the UNGC’s network. The report found that companies that join the Global Compact and participate in its initiatives are more likely to make positive contributions to sustainable development.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated a review into the use of green and socially conscious labels in an attempt to address greenwashing concerns. In its second review of the sector in less than two years, the SEC has called for investment managers to explain the standards they use for classifying funds as focused on or aligned to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, according to Bloomberg.

The increase in popularity of ESG and socially responsible investing in the US has led total sustainable assets to grow from $8.7 trillion in 2016 to $17 trillion in 2020, according to data from the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance.

The SEC is also working on a rule that would make it compulsory for public companies to disclose how a warming planet could impact their profits. The commission’s chair, Gary Gensler, said in August: “Today, investors increasingly want to understand the climate risks of the companies whose stock they own or might buy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a three-pronged mission: Keeping investors safe. Maintaining a fair, orderly, and efficient market environment. Facilitate capital formation is the aim of the SEC. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is an enormous federal government agency created in response to the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Bloomberg L.P. is a financial, software, data, and media business with its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Michael Bloomberg co-founded the company with Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% Merrill Lynch investment in 1981.

What is Greenwashing?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, greenwashing is “the practice of misleading consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or service.” Greenwashing occurs when companies are dishonest about their products’ environmental claims to attract customers. It can also happen when companies use labels that indicate they are environmentally friendly without any actual evidence behind those claims. While greenwashing is not a new concept, it is becoming more relevant in recent years as consumers strive to be better stewards of the environment.

Greenwashing has been around for decades, but its rise in popularity is directly related to the rise in prominence and power that environmentalism and green consumerism have within society. Because this is such a hot issue right now, more and more companies are trying to exploit this new market by advertising themselves as “green” or environmentally friendly. Although many of these claims are completely untrue, it is difficult for consumers to discern what is true or not. Many people just want to feel like they’re helping the environment without changing their daily habits. Greenwashing capitalizes on that desire by falsely implying that a company is doing the same. In the long run, this practice does nothing to save or protect the environment, and it can even have negative effects on consumer behavior if people stop believing green claims altogether.

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ESG: The New Way of Doing Business in New York, NY

Business and organizational sustainability is a complex issue in New York, with many stakeholders and perspectives. It’s also an area where the stakes are high – if we don’t get it right, there will be dire consequences for our communities and the planet.

The good news is that more investors are taking notice of ESG issues when they invest in New York companies and organizations. In fact, over the past decade institutional investors have been increasingly incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance factors into their investment decisions. And soon it will be impossible to win any RFP’s without it.

We want everyone (not just big institutions in New York) to be able to incorporate ESG-related risk into their actions because Companies that don’t adapt to these changes will not survive. This change has many companies in New York scrambling to figure out how they can stay competitive and be profitable while also contributing to a better future.

ESG The Report is one solution that helps businesses in New York find their niche in this new landscape by providing information on risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and governance factors affecting them today. Our report offers insights into what investors are looking for from companies in New York and around the globe.

ESG Frameworks provide investors with insight into how companies are performing in terms of corporate governance, social issues, labour standards and environmental impact. Ask about our ESG Frameworks package to help you get started on making your company, department or organization diverse, equitable and inclusive for all stakeholders.