June 3, 2014

Sustainability: Stock Exchanges Get In the Mix – Time for Companies to Comment

In the context of ESG shareholder proposals, this article notes that companies are becoming more sensitive to sustainable investment concerns. And Kevin LaCroix recently blogged about how environmental problems can lead to directors being named in lawsuits (and the D&O insurance implications).

Last month, the United Nations Global Compact opened a comment period for the 1000 publicly traded companies that have signed the “Global Compact” to comment upon this “Investor Listing Standards Proposal” (overall, there are 7k signatories to the Compact – but many are jurisdictions, schools, etc. and not public companies). Numerous investors from all around the world spent last year submitting their sustainability desires to the World Federation of Exchanges during a consultation period – and that feedback from investors is in this proposal (in other words, the areas where investors agreed upon the most made it into the proposal now being considered). That was a big challenge.

So now is the time for the corporate world to weigh in on what they’d like the stock exchanges to require when it comes to ESG reporting. The UNGC is going to compile company responses into one master document – and then submit a proposal to the 62 stock exchanges – through the WFE (there is now a sustainability working group of 17 exchanges – a sign of the sincerity that they intend to do something soon). This is expected to come out in the fall. Company feedback during this process is important (and a company doesn’t have to be a signatory to weigh in) – so act by the comment deadline of June 27th (learn more about how to do that in this feedback form).

California’s DOCQNET: A New Filing Framework

In an era when the SEC has EDGAR as a possible item for change (as part of the disclosure reform project), it is fitting that California has actually done that. As noted in Keith Bishop’s blog, California’s Department of Business Oversight is rolling out a new online system called “DOCQNET” (Document Quality Network) effective June 18th…

Transcript: “Appraisal Rights: A Changing World”

We have posted the transcript for the recent webcast: “Appraisal Rights: A Changing World.”

– Broc Romanek