Companies face massive challenges and pressures from investors and other stakeholders when it comes to their environmental and social impacts as well as their CSR and ESG activities. These groups are demanding increased transparency about these activities and also the potential risks. In addition, various regulators and standard setters are considering reporting mandates. In addition, investors, analysts and banks are struggling to understand and analyze firms’ ESG risks and climate exposures, including physical and transition risks. Internally, firms create accountability for CSR and ESG activities through their reporting systems and to align them with the external demands by their stakeholders.
The class is designed to help students understand and navigate the current environment, the demands on corporate reporting and accountability in the CSR and ESG space. We will discuss the role that ESG reporting can (and cannot) play in addressing environmental and social issues. Below are a few things that students will learn:
- About the current reporting landscape, existing data and regulatory initiatives
- To analyze firms’ ESG reports and information and how it connects with firm performance and firm value
- About the effects of ESG information and reporting in capital markets and on firm behavior
- How sustainability and ESG reporting are different from financial reporting
- Understand the challenges of communicating about sustainability and CSR activities with stakeholders
- Understand the role of corporate governance and how it connects with E & S
This class is relevant to future managers working in multinational organizations, CFOs, controllers but also consultants, and entrepreneurs. It recognizes the growing demand for transparency and corporate accountability when it comes to environmental and social issues and prepares students for these demands. It is also relevant to people going into investment management and banking considering that sustainable investing and green finance needs information on what is sustainable. Although the class has strong conceptual underpinnings and is closely connected to capital-markets and financial reporting research, it will be delivered with a mixture of lectures and cases. So it will be applied in nature.