Karen Bennett, Jane Luxton Co-Author Bloomberg Law Insight Article on Global Corporate Sustainability Reporting

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2021) - Washington, D.C. Partners Karen C. Bennett and Jane C. Luxton recently co-authored an article for Bloomberg Law titled “International Sustainability Disclosure: Change Is Coming,” which discusses developments that are expected to emerge in the international corporate sustainability reporting arena. Mses. Bennett and Luxton were joined by co-authors Pieter Booth, a principal scientist with Net Gain Ecological Services, and John Finisdore, from Sustainable Flows.

The authors set the stage by stating that two “implacable forces” will likely lead to changes in the corporate sustainability reporting landscape – “increasing pressure from advocates to include climate disclosure in investment decision-making, and investor need for global consistency in sustainability standards criteria.” They explain that methodologies for quantifying the effects of climate-related considerations as well as other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors translate into business value and risk. Accordingly, international businesses need a mechanism through which they can compare data and information across jurisdictions.

The authors then discuss the various signs indicating that “global harmonization of ESG disclosures” is on the horizon, explaining that this trend “provides opportunities for businesses to receive credit for valuable ecosystem restoration and mitigation through incorporation of natural capital accounting in ESG reporting.” They also describe second-generation natural capital accounting, which are approaches that analyze a company’s impact on the environment. The authors close by advising that the “business community must take responsibility for educating policymakers to understand how natural capital accounting can be used to mitigate climate change impacts, and making sure these important concepts are accepted in the full range of financial, sustainability, and securities disclosure regimes.”

Ms. Bennett serves as co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Environmental & Administrative Law Practice and its Government Relations Group. She resolves regulatory problems, focusing primarily on permitting, compliance, litigation, and legislative and regulatory policy under federal law. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Bennett was Vice President for Environmental Affairs at the National Mining Association (NMA), a Washington, D.C. based trade association representing the coal and hardrock mining industry before Congress, the Administration, and regulatory agencies.

Ms. Luxton serves as Managing Partner of Lewis Brisbois' Washington, D.C. office, co-chair of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Practice, co-chair of the Government Relations Group Leadership, co-chair of the Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, and vice-chair of the Consumer Financial Services Practice. She has extensive experience in environmental as well as other federal regulatory, policy, and litigation matters, and regularly advises businesses, associations, and coalitions in navigating all levels of the federal regulatory process, including appellate advocacy.

Read the full Bloomberg Law Insights article here.

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