I am excited to be presenting a fast paced and fun one hour virtual program, “ESG an Emergent and Fast Growing Area of the Law” for the Maryland State Bar Association, and Not just for lawyers, on December 14, 2021 at noon. Register today for the live virtual program.

We are currently undertaking a survey to assess and gauge ESG activity in the marketplace.

The use of ESG factors to evaluate companies are the cause celebre and all but exploding on the scene. With the fervor building and with the ESG umbrella covering such a broad spectrum of subjects, our goal with this survey is modest in seeking a report on current business perceptions on matters of ESG such that our clients and friends can use the results as they make their company plans for ESG in 2022.

ESG is such a new space that there are few authoritative sources of information, including that with no scholarly treatises and few if any peer reviewed published papers, blogs like this one are the best source of reliable information. Concomitantly, readers of this blog are a target rich environment for current business ESG activity and a group who is ripe for surveying.

The survey is not a truly scientific survey in that, after piloting a questionnaire, we have curated the survey methodology, sample design, and data collection with the aim of providing essential benchmarks that will on a timely basis offer predictive accuracy, in the emergent and fast growing space of ESG, on how a company can move forward.

The survey is currently in the field and we thought you would be interested in what we are asking:

  • Are you witnessing an increased demand, in the last 12 months, on your company to report ESG data?
  • Where are your company’s ESG priorities today? [environment, social, governance]
  • Does your company have a formal ESG program?
  • Do you have confidence that your company’s ESG program is sufficiently robust? [highly confident, moderately, minimally, not at all]
  • Does your company consider ESG metrics in executive compensation?
  • Do you believe companies will achieve their stated ESG commitments?
  • Do you believe companies frequently overstate or exaggerate their ESG progress when disclosing data?
  • Do you believe companies will face increasing litigation as a result of not achieving their stated ESG commitments?
  • Are you concerned about the potential impact ESG matters may have on the brand perception or brand value?
  • Are you concerned about financial penalties resulting from non-compliance with ESG regulatory requirements?
  • Do you expect most companies will establish and communicate a net-zero plan in the next 12 months?
  • Do you expect investors will reward companies that have communicated a net-zero plans with a premium?
  • Do you believe there will be mandatory ESG disclosures and more ESG regulation within the next 12 months?
  • Do you favor of mandatory ESG disclosures and more ESG regulation within the next 12 months?
  • Do you believe law firms should be doing more to support companies with ESG matters?
  • Does the law firm your company uses offer ESG capabilities to its clients?
  • Does your company engage outside consultants for compliance with ESG matters?

If you have not received our survey and would like to participate, a modified version is available for readers of this blog and we encourage you to click on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6BHDRT3

Note, in an effort to keep true to our sample design while allowing all who are interested to participate, this version asks 10 questions of key import and does not require you identify yourself or provide demographic information.

We expect our data collection will be complete within the next month and we plant to report shortly thereafter. We have committed to provide the survey results to clients and friends who have participated first and then the data will be the subject of an upcoming blog post.

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group of attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm “powering sustainability for tomorrow’s business.” Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. If we can assist you or someone you work with in ESG strategy and solutions, from policy to project implementation, do not hesitate to reach out to me.