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Environmental and social practices reach a tipping point

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2020 Proxy season preview

Over the last several years, environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices have become a priority at both the corporate and investor level, with a growing demand from clients and the marketplace for corporations to show conviction on ESG-related issues. While companies recognize the importance of environmental and social factors (E&S), new regulations bring uncertainty to the future of environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposals.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is roiling global markets and testing companies’ abilities to handle such a significant crisis. While many aspects of the current outbreak are certainly beyond issuer control, strong company ESG management plays an important role in mitigating downside risk and preserving long-term value. Conversely, poor ESG management could lead to greater negative impacts and a longer road to market recovery.

Across industries, strong corporate governance is a fundamental factor in ensuring business continuity and resiliency in the face of any major event. Board independence, oversight accountability and diversity, in addition to executive compensation that is aligned with long-term value creation, drive better operational strategies, risk-mitigation frameworks and problem-solving.
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Dimitri Stathopoulos
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