ESG News: How a New SEC Rule Could Affect Press Releases
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposed a new ruling that would require public companies to include information regarding climate controls and risks in their registration statements and regular filings. The proposal has many implications and aims to make companies more transparent to their stakeholders.
In a press release announcing the proposed ruling, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said, “Investors need reliable information about climate risks to make informed investment decisions…I believe the SEC has a role to play when there’s this level of demand for consistent and comparable information that may affect financial performance.”
We’ve covered trends in ESG press releases over the first months of the year, and this new rule could mean even more ESG-related content crossing the wire.
The Changes Can Already Be Seen in Some Press Releases
While the proposal only requires public companies to disclose climate-related risks and potential greenhouse gas emissions within 10-K filings, some companies have already taken it a step further. For example, Marathon Oil added an “ESG Excellence” section to its fourth quarter earnings release. Similarly, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines added sections about Environmental, Social and Governance to their fourth quarter releases.
The messaging within each of these releases stated a clear plan of action as well as recent accomplishments in ESG. This increased visibility into ESG developments helps establish credibility while building better connections to stakeholders.
Why Journalists Needs to Stay on Top of ESG News
ESG news covers a variety of topics, from carbon footprints to DEI initiatives to responsible investing. So regardless of the beat you cover, it’s likely that the companies you write about are focused on ESG – and their stakeholders expect it.
Decisionmakers (from the customer level all the way to the shareholders) are looking for more data and information around carbon emission reduction, diversity in the workplace, community improvement and outreach, and corporate governance and structure. Companies with solid ESG and communication strategies in place are already accomplishing this by finding ways of disseminating sustainability information to key audiences (i.e. press releases).
Stakeholders expect new levels of transparency with regard to climate risks and ESG, and these topics are top-of-mind for companies. PR Newswire distributes ESG-related news straight to the journalists, bloggers, and freelancers holding these companies accountable.
How to Catch Up on ESG News
An Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) subject code is available in the list of options to include in your PR Newswire for Journalists profile. Users can also customize their newsfeed further by narrowing the results by geography, industry or keywords, for example.
If you haven’t set up your custom newsfeed yet, here are the steps to get started.