Updated: Aug 17
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data have become a critical measure of sustainability compliance in the United States. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently mandated registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their periodic reports.
Although ESG reporting is voluntary for most organizations, the enactment of laws and Presidential Executive Orders, are pushing ESG disclosure and sustainability compliance into the regulatory arena as detailed elsewhere.
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will invest $369 billion in Energy Security and Climate Change programs and is expected to have a huge impact on the climate. It is against this backdrop that we project that many organizations will soon be required to comply with numerous legal frameworks and disclose their data.
ESG and by extension Sustainability noncompliance can result in significant litigation and liability risks for organizations under Federal law. These can include large fines, to loss of public trust impacting revenue. Embracing compliance provides an opportunity for companies to refine, protect, and create business value, and new opportunities.
A key benefit of the process is the ability to identify risk exposures in organizations and put in place plans for mitigation.
The regulatory powers are spread throughout many agencies in the United States, however, we have selected some of the most important frameworks you need to concern yourself with. Applicable laws vary by industry, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gets you thinking about what is to come.
Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
The Lacey Act
The Clean Air Act
The Clean Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act
The Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act
The Occupational Safety & Health Act
The Pollution Prevention Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The Toxic Substances Control Act
Food Safety and Inspection Service regulations
Migrant and Season Worker Protection Act
Worker Protection Standards.
Fair Labor Standards Act
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
There is no going back on ESG, so this is a good time to start preparing on how to comply.
As evidenced by the long list of laws above, ESG and sustainability compliance is becoming an increasingly complex and fast-changing regulatory environment for companies to navigate. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you get started on this journey, save time and help you comply. You can also opt to use industry-specific templates that makes the process of data collection, analysis, and reporting easy, eliminating the need to hire consultants such as those designed by Cloudsyte.
References to more details and laws: