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US state laws 'name and shame' companies to push corporate diversity


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US state laws 'name and shame' companies to push corporate diversity

The ESG Insider newsletter compiles news and insights on environmental, social and governance developments driving change in business and investment decisions. Subscribe to our ESG Insider newsletter, and listen to the latest ESG Insider podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple podcasts.

"Companies are responding to the public shame and making changes."

That's what Illinois State Representative Chris Welch told us in an interview for the latest episode of the ESG Insider podcast. He was explaining how the 2019 state law he sponsored requiring companies to report on their race metrics will be effective in increasing board diversity.

Welch is one of two state lawmakers we interviewed for the episode, which also features California Assemblyman Chris Holden, co-author of a new California law that pushes companies to embrace racial diversity on their boards.

And as U.S. elections draw closer, we also look at the potential for climate and clean energy legislation at the federal level. See our Chart of the Week for a breakdown of some of the climate policies in play and the Senate seats up for grabs.

Chart of the Week

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State Rep. Chris Welch

Source: Rep. Chris Welch

Podcast: The 'name and shame' game: How 2 state laws tackle corporate racial diversity

In the U.S., the national dialogue has turned to race in 2020. Following George Floyd's death in police custody, companies have paid more attention to systemic racism and diversity in their own ranks. Investors are also increasingly talking about this topic as a human capital management issue. The latest episode of the ESG Insider podcast examines how corporate diversity laws enacted in Illinois in 2019 and in California in September 2020 aim to make publicly traded companies embrace racial diversity on their boards.

Climate action may still take backseat even if Democrats win Senate

Sweeping climate legislation is not guaranteed to get top billing in 2021, even if Democrats were to take both the U.S. Senate and the White House, according to market observers. Coronavirus recovery packages could feature green incentives, experts said, but legislation that focuses on the pandemic and the economy will be front and center in the year ahead.

Indonesian banks' first ESG reports suggest need for more guidance, data quality

As Indonesia's nonbank financial institutions, publicly listed companies and smaller commercial banks prepare to file their first mandatory sustainability reports next year, the industry is urging regulators to provide more guidance and incentives.


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Oil, gas industry will make changes to stay relevant in clean energy shift

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