May-June 2023

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Safety By Adele L. Abrams, Esq., ASP, CMSP I n Spring 2022, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a landmark initiative that would require publicly traded companies to disclose certain environmental impact information, such as greenhouse gas emissions, as part of the Administration's effort to combat climate change. e comment period on the nearly 150-page proposed rule ended November 1, 2022, and the latest regulatory agenda calls for a final rule to be published in October 2023. e rule is titled Enhanced Disclosure by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies about Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices, and can be reviewed at www.regulations. gov. While delays are certainly possible beyond this October, there is an incentive to get this done on time, to avoid the prospect of rescission under the Congressional Review Act by a new administration and Congress (as happened to OSHA's ergonomics standard in 2001, and OSHA's "continuing violation" rule in 2017). SEC Gets Active on ESG DISCLOSURES Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) is not just a United States' initiative. e United Nations already adopted 17 sustainability goals relating to ESG, and representations about ESG performance can have a multifaceted impact on multinational employers. ere are a range of factors that can be considered when evaluating a company's track record on ESG including: Environmental: e company's impact on environment; risks and opportunities associated with climate change, and its impact on the organization, its business and industry; Social: e organization's relationship with people/society (DEI, safety and health, human rights, community investment); and Governance: How the company is run (transparency and reporting, ethics, statutory and regulatory compliance such as EPA and OSHA enforcement history, shareholder rights) and composition and role of board (DEI). When it comes to investments, "Green is Gold." Over $30 trillion (USD) in investment assets are Publicly traded companies are now required to share their ESG practices and initiatives. 34 PalletCentral • May-June 2023 iStock/Khanchit Khirisutchalual

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