ESG Considerations for Public Companies: Navigating Investor Demands, SEC Scrutiny, Varied Rating Standards

A live 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, October 14, 2022

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss the issues presented for public companies in incorporating ESG considerations into their decision-making and operations, the current inconsistencies in rating ESG performance, and the SEC's increased focus on ESG disclosures.


ESG is increasingly viewed as a factor in a company's long-term success, so it figures in the investment decisions of fund managers. Consequently, the SEC has increased its focus on public company disclosures regarding ESG. Public companies and their counsel must now consider ESG ratings in corporate decision-making while ensuring that any public disclosures relating to ESG pass muster with regulators.

Companies today must address a proliferation of ESG assessments issued by organizations such as SASB, GRI, and TCFD. Commercial ESG rating services such as ISS, ThomsonReuters, Moody's, and Morningstar provide ESG ratings, and investment professionals rely heavily on these services. Each has its scoring protocol, resulting in varying ESG ratings for the same company.

The SEC's March 2022 proposed climate disclosure rules are meant to provide shareholders, investment advisers, and investment management companies with more reliable information about the climate-related risks of each public company.

In April 2022, the SEC's Division of Examinations indicated that ESG would be its second examination priority. There is an increase in the number of ESG-related litigation alleging "greenwashing"--plaintiffs allege that companies misrepresented their environmental practices, achievements, and commitments.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the emergence of ESG as a significant factor in investor decisions and the planning and disclosure implications for public companies.



  1. Introduction: ESG as a measure of a company's performance
  2. Evaluating ESG performance
    1. Assessment standards: SASB, GRI, and TCFD
    2. Ratings: ISS, ThomsonReuters, Moody's, and Morningstar
    3. Navigating the various scoring approaches
  3. Regulatory developments
    1. SEC Division of Examinations' current focus on ESG disclosures
    2. SEC March 2022 proposed climate disclosure rules: current status
  4. Actions public companies and asset managers should take now


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • Why are good ESG practices critical to a company's financial performance?
  • How is ESG measured, and why is there so much inconsistency amongst the rating organizations that rate ESG performance?
  • How would SEC's proposed climate disclosure rules affect public companies? Asset managers?
  • What steps should companies take to avoid greenwashing and other disclosure pitfalls?


Barnard, Thomas
Thomas H. Barnard

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz

Mr. Barnard is the former vice chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group with first...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.
Attend on November 8

Early Discount (through 10/14/22)

Cannot Attend November 8?

Early Discount (through 10/14/22)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video