March 17, 2021
Published: The CAQ
Companies are increasingly tackling complex problems facing society in the form of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments and practices. Such developments have caused what has been referred to as a “fundamental reallocation of capital.” Some questioned whether the COVID-19 pandemic would disrupt investor focus on ESG matters; instead we saw COVID-19, among other recent events, accelerate interest in ESG topics. Asset flows into sustainable funds in the United States continued at a record pace through the fourth quarter of 2020 to nearly $51 billion, more than two times higher than asset flows attracted to sustainable funds in all of 2019, according to Morningstar.
In July 2020, the Center for Audit Quality released The Role of Auditors in Company-Prepared ESG Information: Present and Future, which gives an overview of what ESG reporting is, how investors are using the information and how public company auditors are well positioned to enhance the reliability of ESG information. This publication builds on those concepts and provides deeper insights for Board Members.