Ruth Jebe, associate professor of legal studies and Hansberger Endowed Ethics Chair in the College of Business and Economics, and Adam Sulkowski, associate professor at Babson College, published “Evolving ESG Reporting Governance, Regime Theory, and Proactive Law: Predictions and Strategies” in the most recent issue of the American Business Law Journal. Environmental, social and governance, or ESG, reports identify key factors measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment.
Jebe and Sulkowski’s work examines changes in the global governance of ESG reporting. “Business is increasingly pressured to issue ESG reports, but the landscape of ESG reporting is littered with multiple different voluntary reporting frameworks. That makes it really challenging for businesses to know which framework to use for their reports,” Jebe said.
The article looks at the extent to which organizations that create reporting frameworks might consolidate or eliminate some elements, making it easier for companies to report. The article takes an interdisciplinary approach, using law, international relations, and legal strategy concepts to provide advice for businesses navigating the arena’s complexity. Ultimately, the authors predict only limited improvements in the ESG reporting field in the short term.
“Our research suggests that it’s unlikely ESG reporting will greatly simplify in the near future and that businesses engaged in ESG reporting will need to be strategic to cope with the confused reporting landscape,” Jebe said.