Boston, MA // September 28, 2016 – On September 20th, Cheryl Smith, Managing Partner of Trillium Asset Management, participated as a speaker on the ‘Towards a Sustainable Economy’ panel at the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action). Together, investment advisors, business executives, members from the U.S. Senate, and academics advocated for expanded corporate disclosure requirements by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the need for greater transparency on matters such as the environment and climate change, political spending, human capital, and worker wages and incentives.
Hosted by CAP Action, the panel comprised representatives from the Center American Progress Action Fund, AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, CERES, the Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Patriotic Millionaires, Public Citizen, and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
“Investors need greater transparency and disclosure by corporations to make reasoned judgements on valuation and to understand the risks of our investments. Materiality is not just what is likely to affect the stock price of a single issuer in the next two quarters. Materiality is what matters to the investor, including both the long term prospects for an issuer and systemic, market-wide impacts”, says Cheryl Smith.
The panel follows a report released this month titled, “Towards a Sustainable Economy: A Review of Comments to the SEC’s Disclosure Effectiveness Concept Release” which analyzed public comments by investors in response to what was titled as a “concept” release, distributed by the SEC in 2016. Published after the SEC’s 2013 “Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative”, the release asked the public to provide additional input into requirements for companies’ corporate disclosures, including the subject of sustainability.
The concept release received several responses requesting improved disclosure. One of the responses was a statement issued by Trillium, urging the SEC to require companies to disclose their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices as part of information filed under Regulation S-K.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization based in Washington D.C.