SIIA Discussion: Mainstreaming Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting - Takeaways from RELX

 

Please join SIIA for a discussion with RELX Head of Corporate Responsibility, Márcia Balisciano, on creating an approach to ESG and Candice Richards, Managing Director at private equity firm MidOcean Partners. Dr. Balisciano will comment on how RELX advanced its ESG activities and offer potential takeaways for companies that have yet to embark on their ESG journey or are thinking about deepening their ESG commitment.  Ms. Richards will offer an overview of why ESG policies are becoming a critical component of determining a company’s valuation by both customers and investors.  

Discussion Leads:

Dr. Marcia Balisciano, Head of Corporate Responsibility, RELX
Candice Richards, Managing Director, MidOcean Partners

Background

RELX is an acknowledged ESG leader – see here, for instance, the free RELX resource on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the company’s most recent Corporate Responsibility Report.  Now is an exciting time to ramp up ESG reporting because so many investors, particularly but not limited to, private equity, require it and because regulators could require more mandatory disclosures of ESG data, including in the United States.  Keep in mind that this is very much about the bottom line as well.  This Refinitiv study says, for instance, that high ESG scores “can have a positive impact on financial returns.”  Refinitiv puts RELX third out of 331 professional and commercial services in its latest ESG rankings.

The ESG trend started when the United Nations invited CEOs in 2004 to participate in an initiative to integrate ESG into capital markets.  The 2005 report entitled “Who Cares Wins” argued that ESG data should be integrated into capital markets.  The influential 2005 UNEP/Finance Initiative “Freshfields” report ultimately led to the NYSE “Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI). As of March 31, 2020 there were 3038 PRI signatories and $103.4 trillion in PRI assets under management.  And there many other ESG products and initiatives available to companies.  SIIA’s Financial Industry Services Association (FISD) has already organized five ESG events, and we expect to explore this topic further in 2021.  See below for past FISD ESG events.