Should Companies Take a Stand?

Should Companies Take a Stand?

One of the most controversial questions confronting business leaders today is whether they should speak out publicly on ESG - environmental, social and governance issues. In the past the answer to this question was largely discretionary, the issue being whether it was appropriate for corporate CEOs to act as “business statesmen” and take a stand on contentious issues in the public domain. The prevailing assumption was that the CEO’s job is to make a profit, not to opine on issues beyond the scope of the business. In this article, Morrow Sodali's John Wilcox explores whether companies should take a stand.

Also included are insights from FrameworkESG founder and CEO, Kate Rabernak on how companies should prepare for a future in which ESG plays a central role in their strategic planning, corporate reporting and engagement. Key questions include: how will ESG affect their communication with institutional investors, beneficial owners, employees and other stakeholders? What internal processes will companies need to develop to determine whether an ESG issue is material and how to respond when it surfaces in a public forum?